This week marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. It transformed the international human rights landscape. Galvanized by the Rwandan genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, 120 countries decided it was time to establish a permanent world court to try people accused of grave human rights abuses—genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes—when their own countries wouldn’t or couldn’t. As the Canadian foreign ministry’s website notes, “Canadians are proud for the central role Canada played in establishing the International Criminal Court.” Canada chaired a group of countries that helped get the ball rolling on the adoption of the statute. Canadian diplomat Philippe Kirsch was chosen to chair a pivotal negotiating body at the Rome conference that drafted the treaty establishing the court. Mr. Kirsch later became a judge on the court and was elected its president, serving from 2003 to 2009. Under the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien, Canada in 2000 was the first country in the world to adopt comprehensive legislation to implement the Rome Statute domestically. Besides Mr. Kirsch, Canadians have a long history of leading on international justice. Former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour, for instance, was the United Nations' chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and served as the UN high commissioner for human rights. But under the current Liberal government, Canada’s leadership on international justice issues has fallen. Sure, Canada has given money to help bring justice to victims of atrocities in Iraq and Syria. It’s also cut cheques to help aid Rohingya victims of persecution in Myanmar. The foreign minister put out a perfunctory statement recognizing the Rome Statute’s anniversary and noting Canada’s support for the ICC and the values for which it stands. Canada could lead on international justice again, but it takes political will. It could start by boosting its own Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program to ensure it lives up to its international obligations by not deporting suspected war criminals but rather seeking to build a case against them if the evidence is strong enough. A 2016 initial evaluation found that Canada’s contribution to fighting crimes against humanity was “diminishing due to capacity and resource issues” and that “resources have not changed since 1998 and are considered inadequate.” Canada may be hesitant to throw more political capital into the protection of international law at a time when global attention has shifted to other pressing issues. The court itself has not gone without criticism, and the limits of its power have been tested. Several African leaders accused the ICC of bias and threatened to withdraw from it after it focused almost exclusively on prosecuting Africans. The Sudanese president has for years flouted the ICC’s arrest warrant through the complicity of other countries, and the United States and other big powers have never signed on to the Rome Statute. That being said, we shouldn’t lose sight of the positive changes brought about by the court, such as landmark convictions of a couple Congolese war criminals, as well as its deterrence factor. We ought to revive our past leadership role.