The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Statute) was adopted on 17 July 1998 at a United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. The Statute establishes an international criminal court to try individuals for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole and seeks to establish a fair and just international criminal justice system with competent and impartial judges and an independent prosecutor. Unlike an ad hoc tribunal, the Court is a permanent institution, which ensures that the international community can make immediate use of its services in the event of atrocities occurring and also acts as a deterrent to those who would perpetrate such crimes.
The Statute establishes a Court composed of the following organs: the Presidency, an Appeals Division, a Trial Division and a Pre-trial Division, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry. Its judges will be persons of high moral character and integrity and in their selection the Parties will take into account the need for the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, equitable geographical distribution and a fair representation of female and male judges.