Wednesday, June 9, 2010

International Criminal Court Review

Established eight years ago, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to try perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

The Rome Statute -- the treaty that set up the court -- was adopted by 120 countries in 1998. At that time, 7 countries voted against the Statute: China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen. Human Rights Watch page. The Rome Statute entered into force July 1, 2002, after it was ratified by 60 countries.

Now, eight years later, the number of states parties has nearly doubled, to 111 countries. They are holding a review conference in Kampala, Uganda, to take stock. The conference began on May 31 and continues until June 11. For more, see the American Society of International Law's ICC Review Conference Resources.

The U.S. objections to the ICC are summarized in U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court, a Congressional Research Service Report (updated Aug. 29, 2006). For very current US comments, see the Statement at the Review Conference of the International Criminal Court by Harold Hongju Koh, Dept. of State Legal Adviser, June 4, 2010.

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