(MULTILATERAL GOVERNMENT) International court created in 2002 to try criminal cases (as opposed to civil cases) in international law. Criminal charges may include: genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Ultimately, the ICC is supposed to be able to try crimes against the peace (or aggression), something it presently cannot do.

The three basic categories of international crimes were defined in the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi officials. However, because the Nuremberg Tribunals only tried citizens of Axis nations for crimes against Allied or neutral states, their moral authority was greatly weakened.

The ICC complements the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which tries civil cases.
Even before the International Criminal Court commenced operations in 2002, it was critically weakened by the vociferous opposition of China, the USA, Israel, Iraq (then under the rule of Saddam Hussein), and Libya. These countries went so far as to vote against the Treaty of Rome (1998). The US government subsequently signed the treaty (December 2000), but "unsigned" it in May 2002.

One other country to do this has been Sudan.

India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and China have never signed the treaty; Russia, Egypt, and Israel have signed it, but not ratified it.
by Primus Intra Pares July 19, 2010
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