§ Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the operation to date of the International Criminal Court. 
§ Mr. Rammell
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established by the Rome Statute, which entered into force on 1 July 2002. Work began shortly afterwards to prepare for the appointment of officials to the court's three main organs; the chambers (comprising 18 judges), the Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry.
The judges were subsequently elected in February 2003, the Prosecutor (Luis Moreno Ocampo, Argentina) was elected in April 2003 and the Registrar (Bruno Cathala, France) was elected in June 2003. The court opened for business with the swearing in of the prosecutor on 16 June 2003 followed by the swearing in of a Deputy Prosecutor (Serge Brammertz, Belgium) on 3 November 2003.
The prosecutor has yet to start his first formal investigation. He has been conducting preliminary examinations into the situations in Ituri (Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) and northern Uganda. In December 2003. the Ugandan Government referred the situation in northern Uganda to the ICC. The prosecutor then announced in January 2004 that he would consider that situation further in order to determine whether to proceed with a formal investigation.
The UK is fully committed to supporting the ICC and is engaged in dialogue with the court at official level to consider ways of providing effective practical support.