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Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the signature of the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, which then entered into force on 1 July 2002. This is a particularly important date for the Siracusa International Institute. Since the seventies, the Institute has led global efforts for the creation of a truly international court that would prosecute the most serious international crimes. The first draft of the statute presented to the United Nations Preparatory Committee in 1996, whose task was to draw up a potential treaty establishing such a court, was preparedat the Institute’s premises in Siracusa, and for this reason it is called “Siracusa Draft”.

This is probably one of the most important contributions that the Institute has made in its history to develop and strengthen international criminal justice. The “Siracusa Draft” is a historical document that –together with others – is the result of nineteen international conferences organized by the Institute under the guidance of the Institute’s late President M. Cherif Bassiouni.

Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni was Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, which ultimately finalized the Rome Statute in force today.

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