The United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Statement of Purpose
This paper will clearly lay out the Unites States concerns with the International Criminal Court and will attempt to resolve them. I will then argue that no country has the right to be above international law, including the United States and that it is in the best interest of America and the world community for the united states to join the efforts of the ICC and sign the Rome Statute.
Introduction to the ICC
“In the prospect of an international criminal court lies the promise of universal justice. That is the simple and soaring hope of this vision. We are close to its realization. We will do our part to see it through till the end. We ask you...to do yours in our struggle to ensure that no ruler, no State, no junta and no army anywhere can abuse human rights with impunity. Only then will the innocents of distant wars and conflicts know that they, too, may sleep under the cover of justice; that they, too, have rights, and that those who violate thus rights will be punished.”
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General
The Twentieth Century was the bloodiest in record history with over 174 million people killed in mass murders and genocides; more often then not, victims’ cries went unanswered. Following World War II the United Nations realized the need to take action in ending impunity from these horrible crimes against humanity. With one of the primary objectives of the United Nations being to secure “universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals throughout the world,” the United Nations recognized the need to establish an international criminal court. In 1948, at the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the General Assembly stated, “Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international cooperation is required.” However, it was not until 1994 that the International Law Commission, appointed by the General Assembly, completed a draft statute for an international criminal court. Finally, in July of 1998 the international community met in Rome to finalize the draft statute, which is now referred to as the Rome Statute of the ICC. The primary goals of the International Criminal Court are to achieve justice for all, to end impunity, to help end conflicts, to remedy the deficiencies of ad hoc tribunals, to take over when national criminal justice institutions are unwilling or unable to act, and to deter future war criminals.
“For nearly half a century – almost as long as the United Nations has been in existence – the General Assembly has recognized the need to establish such a court to prosecute and punish persons responsible for crimes such as genocide. Many thought… that the horrors of the Second World War – the camps, the cruelty, the exterminations, the Holocaust –...