The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first global permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.” The United Nations, many human rights organizations, and most democratic nations have expressed support for the new court. The Bush Administration firmly opposes it and has formally renounced the U.S. obligations under the treaty. At the same time, however, the Administration has stressed that the United States shares the goals of the ICC’s supporters-promotion of the rule of law- and does not intend to take any action to undermine the ICC.
The primary objection given by the U.S. in opposition to the treaty is the ICC’s possible assertion of the jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers charged with “war crimes” resulting from legitimate uses of force. The main issue faced by the current Congress is whether to adopt a policy aimed at preventing the ICC from becoming effective or whether to continue contributing to the development of the ICC in order to improve it.
This book provides a historical background of the negotiations for the Rome Statute, outlines the structure of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as contained in the final Statute, and describes the jurisdiction of the ICC. The book further identifies the specific crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute as supplemented by the draft elements of crime. A discussion of procedural safeguards follows, including reference to the draft procedural rules.
The book then goes on to discuss the implications for the United States as a non-ratifying country when the ICC comes into being, and outlines some legislation enacted and proposed to regulate U.S relations with the ICC.