Brazil has supported the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
as it understood that an efficient, impartial and independent court would represent a further step in the fight against impunity for the gravest international crimes. The Brazilian government has actively taken part in the preparatory works and the 1998 Rome Conference, which adopted the ICC Statute.
With its seat in The Hague (the Netherlands), the ICC began its activities in July 2002, following the 60th ratification of the Statute. As a court of complementary nature, the ICC prosecutes and tries individuals for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and, since 17 July 2018, for crimes of aggression.
Differently from the International Court of Justice, which examines legal disputes between States, the ICC trials individuals only. The existence of the ICC helps inhibit violations of human rights and the international humanitarian law, as well as threats against international peace and security.
The ICC has already tried nearly 30 cases. Currently, there are 13 situations under investigation (Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Darfur/Sudan, Georgia, Libya, Mali, Kenya, two situations concerning the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda) and conducts 9 preliminary examinations (Colombia, Guinea-Conakry, Iraq /United Kingdom, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Ukraine and two situations regarding Venezuela).
Brazil deposited its instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute on 20 July 2002. The treaty was incorporated into the Brazilian judicial system by means of Decree n. 4388, of 25 September 2002.
At present, 123 States are parties to the Rome Statute, including 33 African States, 28 Latin American and Caribbean States, 25 Western European and Other States, 18 Eastern European States, and 19 Asian-Pacific States. All South American countries are parties to the Statute.
During ICC’s almost two decades of operations, Brazil has had a strong presence in The Hague, through its delegation to the Assembly of the States Parties or the participation of its nationals in important positions at the Court. The Brazilian Judge Sylvia Steiner was a member of the ICC’s body of judges from 2003 to 2016.Today, she sits on the Advisory Committee on Nominations of Judges of the ICC, of which professor Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant was a member from 2013 to 2014. In December 2019, Prosecutor Cristina Romanó was elected to the nine-person Group of Independent Experts for the ICC review process currently underway.
In line with its commitment to actively participate in the works of the ICC, the Brazilian government announced in April 2020 the candidacy of Judge Mônica Jacqueline Sifuentes for a post of judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the elections to be held at the 19th session of the Assembly of ICC States Parties, scheduled for November 2020.