Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the Day of International Criminal Justice

17.07.2018 - Press release

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (17 July) on the Day of International Criminal Justice:

Twenty years ago on this day, the Rome Statute, which founded the International Criminal Court in The Hague, was adopted. This was a great achievement for international criminal law. This milestone is rightfully being celebrated today in The Hague and at the United Nations in New York, as a great deal has been achieved since then as regards international criminal law.

There are now 123 States Parties to the Rome Statute. The International Criminal Court was able to start its work sooner than originally planned. It is available to the international community as a permanent international criminal court. The Court’s competence is not only restricted to a particular situation. It is also responsible for prosecuting cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and, from today, wars of aggression worldwide. With today’s activation of its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, the international criminal law system has been completed.

Along with its EU partners, the German Government will continue to do its utmost to encourage other countries to accede to the Rome Statute. As in the past, it will support the work of the International Criminal Court intensively and continue its efforts to help enable the Court to tackle international impunity effectively.

On behalf of the German Government, I would also like to use today’s occasion to express my sincere thanks to all those who make the work of the International Criminal Court possible through their personal endeavours and commitment. It is only thanks to your hard work that the gravest violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are addressed by the power of the law.


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