Remaining Ratifications Expected “In The Next Eight To Twelve Weeks”

UNITED NATIONS, February 7, 2002 ( – Four ratifications of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) this year have brought the total ratifications to 52, eight short of the number needed for the ICC to enter into force. In January Benin and Estonia became Parties to the ICC with Portugal and Ecuador joining February 5.

William Pace, Convenor of the more than 1,000 member NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court stated, “Due to the defining role the first sixty countries will play in shaping the future of the Court, it is likely that the remaining ratifications necessary to enter the Court into force will be received in the next eight to twelve weeks.”

The ICC has been of great concern to pro-life and pro-family lobbyists at the international level since UN activists have pushed for the courts to define discrimination against homosexuality and the outlawing of abortion as crimes within the ICC. Moreover, the current setup of the ICC tramples the sovereignty of nations. Once 60 countries have ratified the treaty the ICC will assume universal jurisdiction even over countries that have not signed on to the agreement. Beyond that, a nation’s own laws are counted as inferior to the ICC. Explanatory material on the ICC released by the Canadian government during its hasty passage of ICC ratification stated: “It would not be a defence that an offence was committed in obedience to the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.”

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a network of groups promoting the ICC, revealed that following the treaty’s entry into force, which will take place from two to three months after receipt of the sixtieth ratification, there will be an approximate twelve-month time period designated for establishing the framework of the Court and electing the Court’s senior officials. While the Court’s jurisdiction will be effective from the day of the Rome Statute’s entry into force, the Court will not begin operations until its framework has been established.

See the UN’s report on the status of ratifications of the Rome Statute:

See the CICC press release on the ICC: