Senegal is the first state to ratify the International Criminal Court’s statute

Senegal has become the first country to ratify the Rome Statute for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Until today, 74 States have signed the Statute, but Senegal is the first to ratify. On this occasion, the International Commission of Jurists (IC]) stated:

We commend Senegal on this significant step and call on other States to follow suit.

At a time when the daily news reveals the horrendous atrocities suffered by the civilian population in places such as Angola, Kosovo and Sierra Leone, governments and national parliaments should speed the process of ratifying this essential treaty. We need this Court today so that the perpetrators of the most serious international crimes are deterred and their victims protected.

The Court will have jurisdiction to try the most heinous crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Statute requires that 60 instruments of ratification are deposited with the United Nations for the Court to be actually established.

On 14 January 1999, the Senegalese National Assembly authorised the President of the Republic to ratify the Statute. The instrument of ratification is in the process of being deposited with the United Nations.

The Court’s Statute, was adopted in Rome on 17 July 1998, with a vote of 120 States in favour, 7 against and 21 abstentions.

From 16 to 26 February 1999, States will meet again in the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York in the form of a Preparatory Commission. The Commission is tasked with preparing proposals for the practical arrangements for the establishment and the coming into operation of the Court, including the rules of procedure and evidence, elements of crimes, and financial regulations and rules.

The ICJ has closely followed the work that led to the adoption of the Rome Statute and will also follow the work of the Preparatory Commission.

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