The fight against impunity is one of the priorities of Estonia’s foreign policy in the field of human rights because Estonia considers it important to work towards protecting its citizens and expanding their opportunities. The International Criminal Court (ICC), founded in 2002, has the authority to hold high-level officials and military leaders who have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity or crimes of aggression, accountable for their actions . The work of the ICC and its predecessors – the international tribunals – has been aimed at not letting offenders who committed serious international crimes to go unpunished, as it often happened during the 20th century and earlier. The work of the court helps to prevent massive violations of human rights and serious crimes.
The influence of the court on international public opinion is equally important. Ethnic cleansing, mass rape or the use of weapons prohibited by international law in warfare are strongly condemned by modern international society. Globalisation has increased the mutual dependence of countries as well as the level of mutual vulnerability to the extent that even states that recognize international norms only selectively cannot ignore international public opinion. This has given reason to speak about the development of a new kind of international culture, a culture of responsibility.