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  • 17 July 2018

    Tuesday, 17 July 2018, marks 20 years since the adoption of the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first standing international judicial body tasked with holding to account those responsible for the most serious international crimes.

    Each year, the Day of International Criminal Justice honours the memory of the victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and as of today also the crime of aggression. Moreover, it offers an opportunity to realize the significance of establishing the ICC.


    This kind of reflection is evoked by such historical monuments as the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz visited this year to present the Raphael Lemkin Award to the Aegis Trust organization. Such places highlight the historic importance of the ICC. Although founded a mere 20 years ago, it is guided by the ancient ideal of Sophocles: “May hatred never lead us to compromise justice”.


    This was also the rationale behind the Nuremberg Trials. Resisting the temptation to take revenge, it was decided back then to submit the defendants to the judgment of the law, something that chief prosecutor Robert Jackson described as “one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason”. As in those days, the ICC now represents the aspiration of humanity to give a fair trial to people responsible for the most serious international crimes.


    Mindful of this, Poland has consistently advocated close collaboration between the states and the ICC, and has supported the Court in strengthening the international criminal justice system so as to ensure the peace and security of humanity. 


    MFA Press Office

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