Armenia becomes the 124th State Party to the ICC Rome Statute

On 1 February 2024, the ICC Rome Statute entered into force for the Republic of Armenia, which became the newest and the 124th State Party to the ICC founding treaty, the Rome Statute, and the 19th State Party among the Eastern European States. This follows the deposit of the instrument of ratification of the ICC Statute with the United Nations in November 2023.

Armenia signed the Rome Statute in 1999, however, the ratification process was suspended in 2004 when the Constitutional Court considered the treaty incompatible with its Constitution. In December 2022, the Armenian government approved a law on ratification of the Rome Statute and submitted it to Parliament in September 2023, after the Constitutional Court ruled that the Rome Statute is in line with the domestic Constitution of Armenia, thus removing any constitutional obstacle to ratification.

On 3 October 2023, Armenia’s National Assembly adopted the draft law “On Ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and on adopting a statement on retroactively recognizing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 12, Part 3 of the Statute.” Sixty Armenian parliamentarians voted in favor of the  ratification, which represents a significant step towards strengthening the Rome Statute system in the region and a clear commitment to advancing justice for victims of Rome Statute crimes. The law also recognizes retroactively the Court’s jurisdiction from 10 May 2021 (based on article 12.3 of the Rome Statute).  



Following the signature of the bill into law by the Armenian President on 13 October 2023, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Mr Mher Margaryan, deposited the instrument of ratification with the United Nations (UN). The Rome Statute enters into force for the State on the 1st day of the month after 60 days following the deposit (Article 126 of the ICC Statute).

The Republic of Armenia is now able to participate as a fully-fledged member in the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and contribute actively towards the discussions and outcomes of the work of the Assembly. The Assembly of States Parties is the ICC’s management oversight and legislative body. It provides the ICC with oversight and takes decisions on issues of importance for the success of the Court, such as election of officials, its annual budget, matters of cooperation and non-cooperation, complementarity and amendments the Rome Statute and other rules.

In December 2023, for the first time, Armenia participated in the 22nd session of the ICC-ASP as an observer state and delivered a statement during the General debate. H.E.Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Representative of the Republic of Armenia on the International Legal Issues stated that “Armenia’s decision to ratify the Rome Statute emphasizes our strong adherence to the international law and signifies our unequivocal commitment to upholding justice, fighting impunity and ensuring accountability, in the face of persistent challenges.” Mr Kirakosyan further stated that “By becoming a party to the Rome Statute, we express our commitment to effective international action to ensure that accountability for the gravest crimes is not only sought but also achieved, that victims receive justice and redress and that the perpetrators are held accountable. We consider that this can be only achieved through the Court’s universalization.” Finally, Mr Kirakosyan stated that “Armenia has already started to conduct the necessary steps, internally, to implement the commitments stemming from the Rome Statute, including the relevant legislative efforts.”




The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) congratulates Armenia on this important step and highlights the impact that this ratification will have on the Eastern European region and the Rome Statute system. Virginie Amato, CICC Advocacy Director, stated that “Armenia’s ratification is an important example of its commitment to human rights and the rule of law, as well as of the continuous support by States for the ICC and the global effort to end impunity. We encourage Armenia to proceed with the implementation of the Rome Statute in national legislation and with the ratification of the Court’s Agreement on Privileges and Immunities (APIC)”. In May 2023, Virginie Amato traveled to Yerevan to promote Armenia’s ratification of the Statute and meet with civil society during the Human Rights and Accountability – a path forward for Nagorno-Karabakh Conference, organized by the Center for Truth and Justice.

Artak Kirakosyan, Director of Civil Society Institute : “It is a great step by itself that Armenia finally joined the ICC family. At the same time, the Armenian government and civil society need a lot of support to fully understand the realities of the achievements and challenges of the ICC.  I hope that with the support of the international community, we can make a real contribution in the fight against impunity and crimes against humanity.” 

“Ratification of the ICC statute by Armenia is a very significant development for our region to combat impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Civil society organizations have advocated for this step for many years. As a human rights organization, we hope that the Court may become an effective mechanism to ensure the accountability of perpetrators. However, only strong international collective efforts and cooperation can ensure the effectiveness of this Court as a guarantor that international crimes do not go unpunished wherever conducted and prevent new crimes in future” said Araks Melkonyan, President of Protection of Rights without Borders NGO 

Naira Sultanyan, Director of the Democracy Development Foundation “Ratification of the Rome Statute by Armenia strengthens global efforts to combat impunity and ensure justice. As a civil society organization, we applaud this important move, hoping this brings justice to the victims and prevents future injustices.”

Gor Mnatsakanyan, President of the Center for Truth and Justice (CFTJ) : “Armenia’s decision to join the ICC was politically courageous and helps move the arc of the moral universe toward international criminal justice”

"On behalf of our global membership of over 1100 Parliamentarians, we are thrilled that Armenia has become a part of the Rome Statute system, demonstrating its commitment to international criminal justice and international standards for accountability of perpetrators of international crimes. Such accountability is instrumental in achieving sustainable justice, peace, and to promote the rule of law and the protection of human rights. To advance this step further and make it truly effective at also domestic level, PGA will continue assisting its Armenian members in drafting the legislation implementing all Rome Statue provisions and cooperation with the ICC" said Frederika Schweighoferova, Director of the International Law and Human Rights Program, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA).