The International Criminal Court: What you need to know
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was set up in 2002 to bring to justice those responsible for the worst crimes committed around the world - such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes - when states are unwilling or unable to investigate crimes committed within their jurisdiction.
It delivered its first judgement in March 2012, finding Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, guilty of using child soldiers between 2002 and 2003.
The court has come under criticism for taking too much time and money to reach its decisions, and many say it will never be able to dispense justice properly until some of the bigger countries in the world - including the US, China, India and Russia - ratify its statutes.
But the 24 individuals facing trial in the court's 14 current cases are all African, leading to criticism from the African Union and political leaders that the continent itself is somehow "on trial".
BBC Africa's Akwasi Sarpong explains how the ICC works and whether the accusations of an anti-African bias are fair.
- 28 March 2012
- BBC News