Since end of Second World War and recent 9/11 attack, there is a need to harmonize transnational criminal laws as the offenders who sought refugee in some countries that grant immunities on the basis of sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction. To try any offenders on transnational basis, there is lack of proper judiciary forum for some time in the near past . Initially special tribunals were the device to book those guilty of genocide or war crimes. The Tokyo and Nuremberg tribunals were the examples of such tribunals in the post Second world war period but they assigned no international character but of regional nature .
The Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals set up by the United Nations Security Council are the recent examples of such tribunals of transnational character. International Criminal Court (ICC) has been formed to address criminal cases of transnational nature but we can not be rapturous about its birth because it faces many teething problems which raises doubt about its acceptance as the major Super power U. S. has yet to recognize the ICC as entity itself though all NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies of the U. S have endorsed the ICC.
ICC is a bizarre entity which is required in a strife-torn modern world and we must accede that ICC is a definite perk up of the highly politicized ad hoc tribunals appointed by U. N from time to time. In December, 1948, the U. N. General Assembly espoused a convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide which paved the birth of ICC. This U. N resolution directed the ILC (International Law Commission) to institute an International Judicial body which will have jurisdiction on these transnational nature .
Again in 1989, the U. N again injected stimulus to resurrect the dormant attitude of ILC towards this object. Finally, in 1994, ILC’s draft was placed for consideration by committees before being acknowledged and endorsed by U. N.
After several weeks’ deliberation in the international conference in Rome in July 1998, as many as 120 countries voted to endorse to treaty while U. S and China voted against it. It is interesting to note that U. S President Clinton and other 139 countries signed the treaty on 31st December, 2000 but U. S went back from its earlier stand and notified the U. N of its intention against this treaty. However since the majority countries have accepted the treaty, ICC was officially born on 1st July 2003 with The Hague as its headquarters. Prof. Hans Kochler in his book, Global Justice or Global Revenge , International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads, lamented that the goals of the criminal justice on an international level can not be advanced in a context of power politics and lack of an extensive division of powers .
He also observed the ICC’s survival is in question unless if due care is taken to maintain fairness and to keep the power politics away. 2. The Role of the International Court : The International court should bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, sexual slavery and maiming and to put an end to impunity so often enjoyed by those in position of powers.