First They Came For Me and My Colleagues: The U.S. Attack on the Int’l Criminal Court

Leila SadatLeila Sadat, the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law


President Donald Trump has taken the unprecedented step of issuing an Executive Order (EO) declaring the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be a “national security threat.”

The ICC? Really? Threatening the national security of a world superpower? This is a Court that has no police force of its own; is located far away in The Hague; has no territorial jurisdiction over the United States as the state has not joined the ICC’s founding Treaty. This is simply a Court of last resort, which steps in if no State is able or willing to prosecute those accused of committing the most heinous crimes known to humankind under laws that the United States accepts and used itself to prosecute the Nazis at Nuremberg. Yes, the Court has on its docket the investigation of  crimes in Afghanistan and the possibility of investigating crimes in Palestine that implicate important U.S. interests, but there are many more reasonable measures the administration could have adopted to advance those interests than declaring that they constitute a “national emergency” and that the Institution authorizing them and persons conducting them should be punished for their “transgressions.”

Read the full piece in Just Security.

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