The concept of a permanent International Criminal Court was an idea of intellectuals at one point of time. In 2002, it became a reality when sixty states signed and ratified the Rome Statute. The first verdict of the ICC has created the faith in the minds of the party states; it has proved that the impunity shall not be tolerated at any point of time. After years of debate, the international community has agreed and drafted the Rome statute and made this court a reality. The evolution of the International Criminal Court through ages has meet with many hardships. Such an evolution, learning from the pros and cons of the earlier ad hoc Tribunals, are worth studying. Such a study can shed light to the basic jurisprudence on which the ICC has been built upon. Not only that, after making such a court a reality, it is pertinent to check whether International law, especially International Criminal Law has evolved enough to support such a court. This paper intends to study the evolution of the ICC alongwith a brief study of its structure and function according to the Rome Statute.
In this, the historical perspective of the growth and development of the ICC has been discussed. This paper describes the growth and the stages through which the concept of International Criminal Court has developed. The endeavour has been to discuss the growth of this important branch of international law in different phases to understand the importance of the ICC. All the prominent events relating to the history of the ICC have been referred to. The present paper also contains the comparison of the International Criminal Court with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia respectively.