The International Criminal Court without the United States

the indefensible position of an indispensable state

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This article will argue that the United States had no convincing reason for not joining the international consensus to create an effective ICC. Although it was understandable that a state would not normally wish its personnel to be subject to an external body's jurisdiction, there were enough safeguards in the Statute against its abusive and/or political use. In this sense, the concern was not reasonable or defensible. To eliminate any risk of its military personnel being prosecuted under the Statute, the United States isolated itself at a time when its engagement and leadership were crucial to the prevention of crimes that shocked the human conscience. Its decision not to ratify the Statute was therefore ill conceived and could be seen as a bid to exist above the community of states or the rule of law in total disregard for the formidable consensus on this issue. It could find that this self-imposed isolation on such an important principle could be contrary to its best interest once the ICC became fully operational.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-236
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian international law journal
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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