The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first ever permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished and is complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. It was set up in the wake of genocide in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and created in 2002 by the Rome Statute Treaty.
While the court is widely understood to be a great international achievement, it has also been crippled by the refusal of some of the world's most powerful countries to recognise its jurisdiction amid concerns about sovereignty and the targeting of soldiers, officials or heads of state with arrest warrants.
The US, Russia, China, India and all Middle Eastern countries, including Libya, are among those who not a signatory to the ICC treaty, which has been ratified by 114 out of 193 officially recognised states.
The ICC currently has thirteen cases in five countries :The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, The Central African Republic and Kenya. A new country could soon be added to the Hague tribunal's proceedings after Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo recently requested arrest warrants to be issued against Col gaddafi, his son,Saif Al'Islam, and his intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.
Let us take a look at the faces behind the cases.