Tags: U.S. | Nix | Participation | International | Criminal | Court

U.S. To Nix Participation in International Criminal Court

Sunday, 05 May 2002 12:00 AM

A senior administration official says the nixing of the treaty will be addressed Monday in a speech by undersecretary of state Marc Grossman and also at a press briefing by Pierre-Richard Prosper, a State Department special ambassador, according to the N.Y. Post.

In April, the administration refused to submit the controversial treaty for ratification, citing concerns that American citizens would be open to potentially politically motivated prosecutions.

The International Criminal Court gained key momentum last month as an additional 10 nations joined 56 others ratifying the treaty.

Philippe Kirsch, chairman of the court’s commission, predicts the court will formally convene shortly after the ratifying states meet in early 2003 to choose a prosecutor and judges.

The ICC treaty (a.k.a the Rome Statute), as written and signed off on by former President Bill Clinton, does contains some language designed to discourage overzealous prosecutors or judges with political agendas from sitting in judgment on whether the U.S., while fighting terrorism, has trespassed against its vague definition of a "crime of aggression."

As presently configured, the treaty says investigations can be launched only with the approval of a three-judge panel.

Furthermore, the ICC must defer to United States jurisdiction in cases involving United States citizens or service personnel, proceeding in such cases only if it determines that the United States has decided not to prosecute the person concerned and that the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the United States to prosecute the alleged crime.

Finally, the U.N. Security Council will have the power to suspend any prosecution.

However, the original U.S. negotiators of the Rome Statute were unable to obtain the ultimate safeguard: a U.S. veto in the form of a requirement that the U.N. Security Council specifically vote to authorize each new investigation.

Under the present language, an ICC investigation of an alleged war crime or crime against humanity can proceed -- unless all five permanent members of the Security Council agree to suspend it.

Upon signing the Rome Statute, President Clinton stated he did not intend to submit the Rome Statute in its present form to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification. The Bush Administration has also long signalled that it would not seek the Senate’s advice and consent to ratification of the Rome Statute.

Bottom line: the U.S. has not, and now apparently will not, agree to be a member of the ICC as presently designed.

But ratification aside, ICC opponent Jesse Helms, R-N.C., fears not only the lack of a plenary U.S. veto power but also that the new court will claim jurisdiction over citizens of countries that have not agreed to be members of it.

"[M]any Americans may not realize that the Rome Treaty can apply to Americans even if the Senate has declined to ratify the treaty," Helms warns.

Helms adds, "The Senate has a responsibility to enact an insurance policy for our troops and officials -- Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Powell -- to protect all of them from a permanent kangaroo court where the United States has no veto."

His American Servicemembers Protection Act, more than an "insurance policy," would literally cancel any power the Court has or could interpret it has over U.S. actions in the world.

The Helms act:

ICC skeptics point to a 1999 complaint by European and Canadian law professors to the International Criminal Tribunal on behalf of the former Yugoslavia alleging that NATO had committed crimes against humanity by killing too many Serbian noncombatants in the bombing campaign that ended the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians.

Eventually, the tribunal’s prosecutors found no evidence to support prosecution. However, to the consternation of the Pentagon, prosecutors did not dismiss the complaint out of hand.

Unlike the ICC, however, the Yugoslavian tribunal was operating under a strictly limited Security Council grant of jurisdiction.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
A senior administration official says the nixing of the treaty will be addressed Monday in a speech by undersecretary of state Marc Grossman and also at a press briefing by Pierre-Richard Prosper, a State Department special ambassador, according to the N.Y. Post. In...
U.S.,Nix,Participation,International,Criminal,Court
638
2002-00-05
Sunday, 05 May 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved