Ratification News Around the World

Latest update April 2001

Since the approval of the Treaty of Rome more than two years ago, those who support the International Criminal Court have reason to feel optimistic that the Court will be established soon. One hundred and thirty nine countries have signed the Statute, thirty-one have ratified it, and many more have indicated their support and their intention to ratify as soon as their national processes allow.


The countries of the European Union have publicly and repeatedly stated their commitment to the ICC and to ratification as soon as possible. At recent Preparatory Commission meetings in New York, representatives from many countries of the European Union informed the NGO community on the progress that has been made on ratification in their respective countries. Information gathered from other sources is also included here. As you will see, the countries of the European Union are moving rapidly toward ratification.

Austria: Ratified 28 December 2000.

Belgium: Ratified on 28 June 2000.

Finland: Ratified on 29 December 2000.

France: Ratified on 9 June 2000.

Germany: Ratified on 11 December 2000.

Italy: Ratified on 26 July 1999.

Luxembourg: Ratified on 8 September 2000

Spain:  Ratified on 25 October 2000.

Denmark: Ratification is imminent. The ratification bill was passed on May 3, 2001. The Queen (and Prime Minister) will ‘confirm’ the bill (receive the Royal Assent) on 16 May. It will then be published and probably come into force the day after. The Queen will then sign the instrument of ratification and its deposit with the UN is expected by 1 July at the latest.

Greece: The translation of the statute has been completed. An ad hoc inter ministerial committee is preparing a draft bill of ratification.

Ireland: An amendment to the constitution will be required prior to ratification. Work on implementing legislation has begun. A referendum is planned for June 7, 2001.

Netherlands: The bill of ratification was approved by the first Chamber of the Parliament on May 8, 2001. The bill is expected to be voted on at the plenary session before the summer recess in July.

Portugal: The President granted Parliament power to amend the constitution on March 29, 2001, enabling Parliament to begin the process of amendment.  The parties have a month to submit proposals for revision. Most expect Portugal to follow the French model of adopting one article giving the ICC Statute priority over the Constitution.

Sweden: The Government adopted a bill on ratification on April 11, 2001 and submitted it to the Parliament. A separate bill with proposals for implementing legislation will be submitted to the Parliament after it has been presented to the Legislative Council and comments have been received.

United Kingdom: The ratification bill (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) completed its passage through the UK Parliament on 10 May 2001.  Once the separate Scottish implementing legislation has been passed and both bills have received the Royal Assent, the UK will be able to ratify the Rome Statute. 


Andorra: Ratified on 30 April 2001

Iceland: Ratified on 25 May 2000

Norway: Ratified on 16 February 2000

San Marino: Ratified on 13 May 1999


Bulgaria: A group of legal experts is determining what amendments should be made for ratification. The Government has yet to decide whether to ask the Constitutional Court for an opinion regarding extradition and immunities.  Constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds majority. If amendment is not necessary, they may ratify before adopting implementing legislation.

Croatia: Ratified May 21, 2001

Czech Republic: Bills on ratification and constitutional amendments are expected to be presented to the Parliament in June 2001. The Constitutional and Foreign Affairs committees will examine the bills over the summer. The ratification process is expected to take approximately four to five months.

Hungary: Hungary hopes to ratify by the end of 2001 or early 2002 and to be among the first 60. A ratification preparation committee is preparing a draft ratification bill that will be sent to the government for approval during the summer, and introduced into Parliament with some implementing legislation by early autumn.

Poland: Poland expects to complete ratification in 2001. The first reading debate on the ratification bill took place on January 17th.  The debate was positive with all parliamentary parties participating.  The Bill was then sent to the Justice and Foreign Affairs Committees.  These Committees established a sub-committee to determine which procedure should be used for the adoption of the ratification bill by the Parliament.  Their recommendation is pending.

Romania: Romania must enact implementing legislation before ratification. The Ministry of Justice has begun considering what is needed for implementation. No formal decision has been taken on whether it is necessary to amend the constitution, although the Ministry of Justice believes it is unnecessary.

Slovakia:  The government has received expert reports on the implications of ratification of the Rome Statute for Slovakia, including whether there is a need to amend the constitution in relation to immunities and prohibition on extradition of nationals.  No decisions have been taken yet. Ratification of the Rome Statute has been declared a priority and will occur before the completion of implementing law.

Slovenia: The government is re-considering whether it needs to amend the constitution in regard to the prohibition on extradition, but no decision has yet been made.  If no amendments are necessary Slovenia could ratify quickly as the ratification bill has already been prepared.

Ukraine:  The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice are supportive of the ICC and a Working Group of experts has been created.  Amongst, other things, the Working Group will consider the whether it is necessary to amend the constitution.


Canada: Ratified on 7 July 2000.


Argentina: Ratified on 8 February 2001.

Belize: Ratified on 5 April 2000.

Dominica: Ratified on 12 February 2001.

Trinidad and Tobago: Ratified on 6 April 1999.

Venezuela: Ratified on 7 June 2000.

Paraguay: Ratified on May 14 2001.

Antigua and BarbudaRatification is imminent. The ratification process is advanced and is expected to be completed in the near future.

Bolivia: A package of international treaties will be introduced to Congress by June 2001, which will include implementation of the Rome Statute.

Brazil: The House of Deputies recently approved the constitutional amendment that will pave the way for ratification.  The Senate must still vote on the amendment.

Chile: The Minister of Foreign Relations, Soledad Alvear, has declared that ratification of the Rome Statute is an important objective of Chile’s foreign policy, and President Ricardo Lagos reaffirmed Chile’s commitment to the Court in his address at the Millenium Summit in New York.  The Chamber of Deputies is currently studying the bill of ratification.

Colombia: The first presentation of the act incorporating the ICC Statute into the constitution (LA 014-2001) was approved by the first commission of the Senate on April 24, 2001. Adoption of the Act would automatically authorize the President to deposit the instrument of ratification.

Costa RicaRatification is imminent; all domestic procedures have been completed.  Recently, the Constitutional Court approved ratification, declared that there are no constitutional incompatibilities between the Rome Statute and the Costa Rican constitution.

Dominican Republic: Signed at the Millenium Summit on 8 September 2000.

Ecuador:  The Constitutional Tribunal recently issued a favorable opinion on compatibility.  The bill of ratification will soon be voted on by parliament.

Honduras: The Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras is currently studying the Rome Statute.  Once the Supreme Court announces its conclusions, ratification will move on to Congress where it will be submitted to discussion and a vote.  A constitutional amendment could be necessary due to the issues surrounding the life imprisonment issue.

Mexico: Signed at the Millenium Summit on 7 September 2000, becoming the 100th country to sign the Treaty. Just 84 days away from the end of its term, the Zedillo administration has left the process of ratification to the administration of president-elect Vicente Fox.  Mexico has organized a working group on the ICC and they are likely to ratify within the next year.

Peru: The Commission of Justice of the Peruvian Congress rendered a favorable opinion on the ICC ratification bill.


Lesotho: Ratified September 6, 2000

Botswana: Ratified September 8, 2000

South Africa: Ratified November 27, 2000

Namibia: Currently drafting implementing legislation

Malawi: Currently drafting implementing legislation


Gabon: Ratified 21 September 2000

Ghana: Ratified on 20 December 2000

Mali: Ratified on 16 August 2000

Senegal: Ratified on 2 February 1999

Sierra Leone: Ratified 15 September 2000


Fiji: Ratified on 29 November 1999

Marshall Islands: Ratified on 7 December 2000

New Zealand: Ratified on 7 September 2000

Tajikistan: Ratified on 5 May 2000

Australia:  Australia must implement the treaty before it can ratify.  According to standard practice, the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is conducting public hearings on ratification of the Rome Statute.  Draft implementing legislation is being prepared.

Bangladesh: The process of ratification is going forward with political support. Experts are studying the legal implications.

Korea: Implementation must precede ratification. A review of the constitution and other laws is underway.

Philippines: The government is in the process of studying the Statute, and is considering ratification.