November 19, 2002
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (or "Rome Statute") was adopted at a high-level diplomatic conference in Rome, Italy, on July 17, 1998. As of February 5, 2002, the statute has been ratified by 52 nations, and will go into force once 60 nations have affirmed it. This event culminated a decades-long effort to establish a permanent judicial body to prosecute international crimes, and represents a dynamic shift in international politics. The Rome Statute purports to create a judicial mechanism with jurisdiction potentially reaching every individual on the face of the earth, whether or not that individual resides in (or is a citizen of) a country that has ratified the statute. Furthermore, the Rome Statute is seen by many pressure groups as (perhaps) the principal means of enforcing the multitude of human rights norms generated by the United Nations conference system.