Means to an End: U.S. Interest in the International Criminal Court

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Contents

  1. United States and the International Criminal Court
  2. SearchWorks Catalog
  3. United States and the International Criminal Court — Global Issues
  4. Access Check

Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Americans are schizophrenic about international criminal justice. On the one hand, we believe war criminals should be held accountable for their crimes. Those competing values of justice vs. This book makes a solid case that support for the ICC is in the American interest and consistent with American values. The USA has long been a world leader in seeking rules of war and international venues for justice.

TR urged a second gathering at The Hague in to expand the rules. The need for an international tribunal to enforce the rules of war is based upon two political realities: During the late s American sentiment grew for creating an international court, as reflected in a House resolution calling for international prosecution of terrorism, drug smuggling, and genocide.


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The Clinton administration was behind creation of two temporary international tribunals in the mids to adjudicate war crimes in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. President Clinton urged creation of a permanent international criminal court. Negotiations to do so took place at the Rome conference in But agreeing on a definition has been a sticking point for decades.

United States and the International Criminal Court

Though aggression was included in the ICC jurisdiction, the U. Due to his ambivalence, Clinton waiting until the last possible day to sign the Statute, but he never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. He and prominent Congressmen, including Senator Barack Obama, expressed concern about the ICC having jurisdiction over personnel from countries like the USA that had not ratified the treaty. Since the USA has more military bases around the world than any other country or group of countries, and plays an active military role in various places, there is concern that investigations and prosecutions could be politically motivated, and concern that the accused are not entitled to a trial by jury.

Of course there were no juries at Nuremberg and Tokyo. When the ICC started operation in , the Bush administration actively sought to discredit and undermine the new tribunal. The administration also negotiated with over countries to agree not to extradite American personnel to the ICC.

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Countries that did not agree would lose military aid. The genocide in Darfur, Sudan led to a change of mind by Groups on the religious right called for stronger U. By July 1, , Human Rights Watch notes that 48 countries have signed such agreements , and most the majority of them [are] small and poor countries that have not ratified the ICC treaty anyway and therefore have no obligation to transfer U. This pressure by the U. Radio Netherlands pointed out in September , that the United Kingdom and Italy were also considering signing this as well, at that time going counter to the policy of the rest of E.

However, in June , when the U. On June 12, , the Coalition for the International Criminal Court mentioned in a press release PDF that the European Union adopted a common position on the ICC, and that the position includes for the first time a call to prevent the signature of US-proposed non-surrender agreements amidst increased US pressure to disengage from influencing countries involved in US negotiations. The Coalition also provides some more information about the agreements as well as the U. The pursuit of bilateral immunity agreements is part of a long history of U.

From through , the U. Purportedly, the Bush Administration believes that the Court could be used as a stage for political prosecutions, despite ample safeguards included in the Rome Statute to protect against such an event. Contrary to assurances from high-level U. As it did in seeking an exemption for peacekeepers from the jurisdiction of the ICC through the Security Council, the U.

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In several instances, there have been media reports of the U. The nations that negotiated the drafting of the Statute did so with extensive reference to international law and with care to address potential conflicts between the Rome Statute and existing international obligations. The drafters recognized that some nations had previously existing agreements, such as Status of Forces Agreements SOFAs , which obliged them to return home the nationals of another country the sending state when a crime had allegedly been committed.


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Thus Article 98 was designed to address any potential discrepancies that may arise as a result of these existing agreements and to permit cooperation with the ICC. The article also gives the sending state priority to pursue an investigation of crimes allegedly committed by its nationals.


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  7. To date, several versions of these bilateral agreements have been proposed: Many governmental, legal and non-governmental experts have concluded that the bilateral agreements being sought by the U. Delegates involved in the negotiation of Article 98 of the Statute indicate that this article was not intended to allow the conclusion of new agreements based on Article 98, but rather to prevent legal conflicts which might arise because of existing agreements, or new agreements based on existing precedent, such as new SOFAs. Article 98 was not intended to allow agreements that would preclude the possibility of a trial by the ICC where the sending state did not exercise jurisdiction over its own nationals.

    Indeed, Article 27 of the Rome Statute provides that no one is immune from the crimes under its jurisdiction. The proposed agreements seek to amend the terms of the treaty by effectively deleting the concept of the sending state from Article 98; this term indicates that the language of Article 98 is intended to cover only SOFAs, Status of Mission Agreements SOMAs and other similar agreements.

    SOFAs and SOMAs reflect a division of responsibility for a limited class of persons deliberately sent from one country to another and carefully addresses how any crimes they may commit should be addressed.

    United States and the International Criminal Court — Global Issues

    By contrast, the US-proposed bilateral immunity agreements seek immunity for a wideranging class of persons, without any reference to the traditional sending state-receiving state relationship of SOFA and SOMA agreements. This wide class of persons would include anyone found on the territory of the state concluding the agreement with the U. Government legal experts have stated that this could easily include non-Americans and could include citizens of the state in which they are found, effectively preventing that state from taking responsibility for its own citizens.

    Furthermore, the agreements do not ensure that the U. Therefore, the intent of these U. The last point made by the Coalition is also interesting because it suggests that while the Bush Administration opposes the ICC due to fears of prosecution on political grounds, it may itself choose which crimes to investigate, and that could also be politicized.

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    Following on with their threats, on July 1, , the Bush administration cut off military aid to 35 friendly countries. Human Rights Watch has described this as bully tactics. Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice program, said that the U. Why would the US not want its personnel investigated and, if warranted, tried for crimes against humanity? The answer is complex but lies along the lines of its very involved foreign policies.

    For decades, the US has been involved in various regions around the world, sometimes propping up dictators and other unpopular regimes. The US has been known to sell many arms and provide training to many human rights abusers. Much of this was done during the Cold War, and the US often said it did this because it was better than these nations going Communist. Invoking the Domino Theory , if just one nation was to fall outside its sphere of influence, then others could follow.

    Hence, the US became very involved in most areas of the world.

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