Updated September 23, 2022
World Day for International Justice 2022, also known as International Justice Day is marked on July 17 to recognize the effort made in creating International Criminal Justice Institution. For the unversed, July 17 is the date of the adoption of the Rome Statute treaty that created the International Criminal Court.
The objective of the International Tribunal is to provide justice to the victims who suffered from serious crimes, which include crimes of aggression, War crimes, crimes of genocide, & crimes against humanity. Talking about the same, the International Criminal Justice tribunal has contributed a crucial role in strengthening the Justice System for the victims across the world.
Why International Justice Day is Celebrated?
World Day for International Justice is commemorated every year on 17th July to mark the significance of the International Criminal Court in bringing justice to the victims who suffered from the most heinous crimes. Moreover, the objective of commemoration is also pointed to make aware of the historic adoption & establishment of the new system of international criminal justice.
Celebrating World Day for International Justice also highlights the efforts of the ICC to prevent individuals from engaging in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other grave crimes. With the significant involvement, it eventually brings peace around the corner of the world where its jurisdiction is covered.
International Justice Day also wakes us to join the fight against impunity so that individuals who have committed crimes against humanity can be persecuted. And prevent Crimes of genocide, Crimes against humanity, War crimes, and Crimes of aggression in future.
What is the International Criminal Court (ICC)?
International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first and only permanent international judicial organization that possesses powers to persecute individuals accused of serious crimes against humanity and human rights. Currently, 123 states are members of ICCt or simply ICC Institution, and 42 states have neither signed nor become parties to the Rome Statute.
All countries or states that have signed the Rome Statute treaty are obliged to accept the International Criminal Court Justice. However, ICC does not replace national courts of the states but only intervenes when a country can’t or won’t bring justice to the victims. ICC is sometimes also called as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“the Rome Stature”).
Moreover, the day commemorated on 17h July is also known as International Criminal Justice Day or International Justice Day. The day encourages all those who wish to support justice, promote the rights of the victims, and of course, help in preventing crime that threatens the peace, security, and well-being of the world.
Quotes on Justice by Prominent Judges
(a) “It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive,” Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States
(b) “Only a Free and Unrestrained Press can effectively expose deception in government,” Hugo Black, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
(c) “It usually takes 100 years to make a law, and then, after it’s done its work, it usually takes 100 years to be rid of it, “Henry Ward Beecher.
Theme of World Day for International Justice 2022
“Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment” is the theme for World Day for International Justice (WDIJ) 2022. Moreover, the institution announces the theme for celebration of World Day for International Justice every year. Here is the list of themes for the commemoration of World Day for International Justice:
|2022||Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment|
|2021||A Call for Social Justice in Digital Economy|
|2020||Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice|
World Day for International Justice: History
International Criminal Court, or in short ICC or ICCt, is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal to prosecute individuals who have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The establishment of the International Criminal Court is an effort of many years that finally came after the Rome Conference in 1998.
The efforts to create a permanent International court were made for very long years, dating back to 1919 after the First World War (WWI). Coming to the same during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, a proposal came out to judge the political leaders who were involved in international crimes.
It was not the first time, but in the 1937 Geneva conference, creating an International tribunal was again addressed. Here, several leaders come forward with the vision of establishing a permanent international court. However, it didn’t proceed further as most leaders refused to give formal consent.
A constructive step was seen after the Second World War when Allied Powers established two ad hoc tribunals to prosecute Axis leaders for inculpated war crimes. Shedding light on two ad hoc tribunals, it was included (a) International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and (b) International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo.
The urgency of the permanent International Criminal Court was recognized several times, but it never entered into force until Rome Conference was conveyed. Talking about the same, United General Assembly insisted that ILC (International Law Commission) draft statutes in 1950 and even had been drafted, but for a short stint.
Establishment of International Criminal Court
The voice for a permanent international criminal court (ICCt) once again echoed when Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, A. N. R. Robinson, proposed the creation of a tribunal to address the illegal drug trade. In response, General Assembly took a major step and tasked ILC to draft Statute for a permanent court.
While drafting statutes for a permanent court was going on, the need for an international tribunal court was called on. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) created two ad hoc tribunals; one for the atrocities committed by the Armed forces during Yugoslavia Wars in 1993 and the other for the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.
Before the Rome conference was conveyed, two ad hoc committees were created to check the substantive issues in the draft for the international criminal court. With the substantial addition and removal, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on July 17th, 1998, was adopted by 120 votes in favour and 7 in opposition. Also, among many participating leaders, 21 countries abstained from giving any vote.
However, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force on July 1st, 2002. Since that day, it has been working for the justice of the victims & prosecuting the perpetrators. Moreover, the decision to celebrate July 17th as the World Day for International Justice was made at a review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala (Uganda) in 2010. They did so because the Assembly of State Parties wished to make people aware of the adoption day of a significant treaty (Rome Statute).
First Judgement of ICC
International Criminal Court gave its first judgement in 2012 concerning war crimes against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a Congolese rebel leader. He was accused of recruiting children in military operations campaigns, and his conviction in 2012 was the first in the International Criminal Court’s history.
Recently, ICC also gave landmark judgements in several other cases like Myanmar atrocities over Rohingya. Also, a trial against former Syrian officials for the widespread torture.
World Day for International Justice Day: Celebrations
Many events across the globe are held to help promote this day. More so, to celebrate World Day for International Justice on 17 July, several legal experts, academics, diplomats and civil society representatives are invited to attend.
The day is also advertised by different news channels, newspapers and radio. A variety of organizations encourage people to be aware of particular concerns such as genocide, violence against women and more. Thus, World Day for International Justice is observed on 17 July each year to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute. And, to recognize the significance of being a part of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to encourage the public to be aware of grave crimes occurring around the world.
FAQs on World Day for International Justice
Ans- World Day for International Justice is celebrated on 17th July to mark the significant step taken in Rome Statute Conference for creating International Criminal Court.
Ans- “Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment” is the theme for World Day for International Justice (WDIJ) 2022.
Ans- International Justice Day celebration on 17th July mark the role played by International Criminal Court (ICC) in providing justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against genocide. More so, it also refers to the continuing services in preventing grave crimes.