President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated Ghana’s committed to the tenets of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He said he is determined to supervise the integration of the laws that established the Court (Rome Statute) into Ghana’s domestic laws to accelerate justice delivery.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome, Italy, on July 17, 1998 and it entered into force on July 1, 2002.

Currently, 122 states are party to the statute and, among other things, the statute establishes the court’s functions, jurisdiction and structure with four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Those crimes “shall not be subject to any statute of limitations”.

Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute the four core international crimes in situations where states are “unable” or “unwilling” to do so themselves; the jurisdiction of the court is complementary to jurisdictions of domestic courts.

The court has jurisdiction over crimes only if they are committed in the territory of a state party or if they are committed by a national of a state party. An exception to this rule is that the ICC may also have jurisdiction over crimes if its jurisdiction is authorised by the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking at the launch of the annual public lecture in international criminal justice by the Africa Centre of International Criminal Justice (ACICJ) at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), President Akufo-Addo said “Ghana remains committed to its obligations under the Rome Statute and the work of the ICC.”

Even though he said “we are yet to adopt the implementation legislation that will give effect to the Rome Statute domestically” which is long overdue, he emphasised “it is time we remedied it. I want to say that we shall remedy it very soon.”

On his part, President of the International Criminal Court, Chile Eboe-Osuji, urged President Akufo-Addo to assist the ICC to convince the Republics of Togo and Guinea Bissau to ratify the Rome Statute.

“I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to appeal to President Akufo-Addo to help us encourage countries like Guinea Bissau and Togo to take that step for the sake of humanity as all other ECOWAS states have done,” he stressed.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent