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Czech Republic; International Criminal Court: Membership

(July 27, 2009) On July 21, 2009, the Czech Republic ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty founding the International Criminal Court (ICC), which handles war crime trials, crimes against humanity, and the crime of genocide. The Statute will enter into force for the Czech Republic on October 1, making that country the 110th to become an ICC State Party. The 26 other European Union Member States are already State Parties to the pact, which was adopted on July 17, 1998, and in force on July 1, 2002, after 60 countries had ratified it. (Czech Republic Becomes State Party to International Criminal Court, UN NEWS CENTRE, July 22, 2009, available at
=; Rome Statute, A/CONF.183/9, ICC website,
(last visited July 23, 2009); Chapter XVIII Penal Matters, 10. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UNITED NATIONS TREATY COLLECTION,
(last visited July 23, 2009).)

It may be noted that in May 2009 the Czech Senate ratified the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which provides for EU institutions and working methods. However Czech President Vaclav Klaus is delaying signing the treaty to complete the ratification process. (Theresa Papademetriou, Senate Ratifies the Lisbon Treaty, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, May 12, 2009, available at// According to THE ECONOMIST, Klaus has stated “he will get around to Lisbon only once everyone else has endorsed it,” and although “[h]e will probably sign,” it will be “through gritted teeth” because he prefers a “loose free-trade zone” to “what he sees as a nascent superstate.” Another reason for Klaus's delay is that the treaty may be challenged in court by members of the Civic Democratic Party, which Klaus formerly headed. (The Awkward Squad, THE ECONOMIST, July 23, 2009, available at