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The International Criminal Court (ICC) is poised to become a reality
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is poised to become a reality, with the statute underpinning its legality coming into force on 1 July next year following the anticipated ratification of the court's Rome treaty by at least 60 of the countries that signed the agreement, which was struck in 1998. The event was marked on 11 April by a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York. The ICC will deal with genocide cases, war crimes and crimes of aggression or those against humanity where national courts are judged unable or unwilling to prosecute. Located in the Hague, it will consist of 18 judges elected for a nine-year term as well as a team of prosecutors and investigators. It will not be part of the UN and will be accountable to the countries that ratify its statute. The governments will agree to prosecute individuals accused of serious crimes under their own laws, or to surrender them to the ICC for trial.