17 July – International Criminal Justice Day
Today marks the 21th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, which established the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), a body which has the power to prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. On this occasion, Slovenia renews its call on all States that have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute as a matter of priority, and to cooperate fully with the Court, thereby ensuring accountability for the most heinous crimes.
On 17 July 1998 the international community set a historical milestone when 120 States adopted the Rome Statute, the legal basis for the first permanent International Criminal Court. The establishment of the Court signified important progress and development in the prosecution of the most heinous crimes. Today, the ICC represents an alternative route for victims when States themselves are not capable or willing to prosecute the perpetrators. As such, it constitutes one of the most significant mechanisms for the prevention and punishment of the most serious of crimes.
Since the ICC does not have its own means of enforcement, cooperation of States' authorities is crucial. Slovenia therefore regularly urges States to cooperate fully with the Court.
The strengthening of international criminal justice and of accountability for violations of international law is one of the key objectives of Slovenian foreign policy. In addition to supporting the International Criminal Court, we are particularly resolved to finding a solution that will help to improve the principle of complementarity, the fundamental principle of the ICC, i.e. that it is the primary responsibility of States to prosecute atrocity crimes. In the effort to strengthen national jurisdiction, Slovenia has, together with the Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, Senegal and Mongolia, proposed the adoption of a new treaty for mutual legal assistance and extradition for domestic prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide (the so called MLA initiative).