The International Nuremberg Principles Academy welcomes the 15th anniversary of the International Criminal Court as a milestone in the fight against impunity for those who are most responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and soon also for the crime of aggression. After the Nuremberg Trials (1946-1949) and the Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (1993 and 1994 respectively), the International Criminal Court in the Hague is the first with a permanent and universal nature. This universal claim is demonstrated by the fact that 124 countries are members of its founding treaty (Rome Statute), including 34 African, 19 Asian-Pacific, 18 Eastern European, 28 Latin-American and Caribbean and 25 Western European and other States.
Even more than other international courts or tribunals, the International Criminal Court faces enormous challenges in its practical work in war zones and conflict areas (for instance in the gathering of evidence, transfer of suspects, witness protection and victim compensation). They can only be overcome by cooperating with states that believe in peace and justice. Despite these challenges, the International Criminal Court has already been able to successfully carry out several trials.
In accordance with the mandate of the Nuremberg Academy - the fight against impunity - Christian Much, the Interim Director of the Academy, demanded: 'The seed laid in Nuremberg must grow. Sustainable peace needs justice. All states, even those who are still apart from the Rome Statute, must intensify their cooperation with the International Criminal Court.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the Nuremberg Academy will hold a major international conference on the chances and challenges of the International Criminal Court in 2018.