As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland is obligated, as a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, ICC, to co-operate with the ICC in its investigation and prosecution of crimes under its jurisdiction. Legislation to allow the State to implement these obligations, the International Criminal Court Bill 2003, has been prepared by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and has recently completed Second Stage before this House.
Ireland and its EU partners have been consistent and strong supporters of the work of the ICC, and have repeatedly stated their commitment to the establishment of a fully functional, independent court. In the Council Common Position on the ICC of June 2003, the EU and its member states commit themselves to supporting the development of training and assistance for judges, prosecutors, officials and counsel in work related to the court. The EU and its member states have also been active supporters of programmes to strengthen the capacity of the justice systems of third states, thus enhancing the ability of these states to co-operate with the ICC when requested by it to do so.
With regard to the Deputy's comments on the situation in Sudan, it should be pointed out that under article 13 of the Rome statute, the court can normally exercise jurisdiction only in cases of acts committed on the territory of a state party or by a national of a state party. Sudan signed the Rome statute in September 2000, but has not yet ratified it. However, article 13(b) of the Rome statute would allow the ICC to exercise jurisdiction over the situation in Sudan if the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, chooses to refer the situation to the prosecutor of the ICC.