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The American Bar Association joins with the world community in celebrating July 17 as International Criminal Justice Day in recognition of the collective, necessary and vital effort of all nations to uphold the rule of law and end impunity for the commission of the atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ABA believes that only by achieving international criminal justice through a just rule of law can durable peace be maintained throughout the world.
The establishment and operation during the past quarter century of special international tribunals, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and domestic tribunals have significantly advanced international criminal justice in the world. The International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent international tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, now solidifies the world community’s effort to hold individuals accountable for unspeakable atrocities.
Beginning in 1978, the ABA supported the creation of a permanent international criminal tribunal. In 1998, the ABA endorsed the Rome Statute, the multilateral treaty that created the ICC. Since the ICC began operations in 2002, the ABA has urged the US government to accede to the Rome Statute and join the ICC. The ABA, through the ICC Project of the ABA Center for Human Rights, the rule of law work of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in more than fifty countries, the global efforts of the ABA Section of International Law, and the efforts of other ABA entities and countless ABA members contributes to the advancement of the rule of law and achievement of international criminal justice.