World Day for International Justice

World Day for International Justice, also referred to as Day of International Criminal Justice or International Justice Day is an international day celebrated throughout the world on July 17 as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice. July 17 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court. On 1 June 2010, at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala (Uganda), the Assembly of State Parties decided to celebrate 17 July as the Day of International Criminal Justice.

The Rome Statute was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of March 2016, 124 states are party to the statute. Among other things, the statute establishes the court’s functions, jurisdiction and structure. The Rome Statute established four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Those crimes “shall not be subject to any statute of limitations”. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute the four core international crimes in situations where states are “unable” or “unwilling” to do so themselves. The court has jurisdiction over crimes only if they are committed in the territory of a state party or if they are committed by a national of a state party; an exception to this rule is that the ICC may also have jurisdiction over crimes if its jurisdiction is authorized by the United Nations Security Council.

Each year, people around the world use this day to host events to promote international criminal justice, especially support for the International Criminal Court. The day has been successful enough to attract international news attention, and for groups to use the day to focus attention on particular issues such as genocide in Darfur, Falun Dafa, and serious crimes of violence against women.

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