Dáil Éireann - Volume 487 - 19 February, 1998
Written Answers - International Criminal Court.
Mr. Creed Mr. Creed
47. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the possibility of an international criminal court being set up on a permanent basis and with a broad mandate. [4273/98]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews) David Andrews
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): On 15 December 1997, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution determining that a Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries be held in Rome from 15 June to 17 July 1998  in order to finalise and adopt a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court.
Before the diplomatic conference will be a draft text of a convention which has resulted from the work of a preparatory committee which was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1995 to produce such a draft. That committee has met five times and is due to meet one more time before the diplomatic conference. Although the draft text being prepared by the preparatory committee represents sufficient progress to warrant the convening of the diplomatic conference, there is widespread recognition that certain key political and legal issues will be resolved only by the diplomatic conference.
Although the list of crimes which will come within the jurisdiction of any future court is not finalised yet, and will not be until the diplomatic conference, there is fairly widespread acceptance that the court should deal only with crimes of exceptional gravity and heinousness. Most states, including Ireland, would agree therefore that the crime of genocide, crimes againt humanity and war crimes should come within the remit of the court.
Many states have indicated their support in principle to the establishment of a permanent international criminal court and it could be said that there has never been a more positive climate at international level towards the proposed court. Notwithstanding the fact that many important and difficult political and legal issues remain to be resolved at the diplomatic conference, it is my view that there are no insuperable difficulties which stand between the international community and the establishment of a permanent international criminal court. A successful outcome of the diplomatic conference should therefore be possible to achieve.
Furthermore, I can confirm that Ireland will continue to work in the future, as it has done in the past, for the establishment of an international criminal court which will constitute a powerful and impartial instrument of justice in the field of international humanitarian law.
Dáil Éireann 487 Written Answers International Criminal Court.