IN THE KNOW: The Rome Statute
The Rome Statute was adopted by 120 countries on July 17, 1998, and came into force after 60 countries ratified it on July 1, 2002.
The Philippines ratified the treaty in August 2011 and became the 117th member. The treaty came into force in the Philippines three months later.
The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court (ICC), an independent body separate from the UN system and the first permanent international court to deal specifically with the gravest crimes against humanity.
As the court of last resort, the ICC, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, does not act on a case that is being investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national authorities were unwilling or incapable of genuinely carrying out the investigation or prosecution.
Article 127 of the Rome Statute provides for the withdrawal of a state party from the treaty. A written notification to withdraw must be addressed to the UN secretary general and the withdrawal will take effect one year after the official notification, unless a later date is indicated.
According to the treaty, a state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from its obligations, including financial, arising from the treaty while it was a party to the statute.
A withdrawal, however, shall not affect any cooperation with the ICC in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in which the withdrawing state had a duty to cooperate and which were started before the withdrawal took effect.
At the same time, the withdrawal shall not prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter that was already being tackled by the ICC before the withdrawal became effective.
The first country to leave was Burundi, whose withdrawal took effect on Oct. 27, 2017. Gambia and South Africa had notified the secretary general of their withdrawal but reversed their decision in February 2017 and March 2017, respectively. —Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives, www.icc-cpi.int
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