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JUS 630 Topic 6 Discussion 2
Provide your perspective on why the United States has not ratified the Rome Statute and is not a member of the International Criminal Court.


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International Criminal Court (ICC) begun its operations on 1 July 2002. International Criminal Court deals with crimes of highest magnitudes such as crimes against humanity, crimes of genocides and war crimes (Schabas, W. A., 2011).

The following are the reasons why?

Unfair treatment – Most of the United States citizen could be mistreated since some countries are enemies of United States and thus can use ICC in a revenge mission. The reason of why Americans could be punished unfairly is because its operations worldwide of dealing with terrorists which sometimes make some innocent people to be killed.

Protecting politicians – Politicians are people who usually make legislation, and some legislation is not accepted by some countries. The Senate has a role of approving attacks by the military, and thus ICC members’ states could punish United States using ICC.

ICC is a political court – ICC lacks complete independence and can be swayed by politics like Kenyan case where all suspects we acquitted because the president and deputy president mobilized other states and some laws were changed. That is a precise scenario that points out that ICC is a political court.


Schabas, W. A. (2011). An introduction to the international criminal court. Cambridge University Press.

Step-by-step explanation
The International Criminal Court, in spite of the fact that a moderately new instrument in worldwide law, assumes an unmistakable part in facilitating the worldwide group’s devotion to human rights.[1] This perpetual tribunal works intimately with the United Nations, yet is its own particular autonomous establishment. The Court appeared in 2002 through the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:[2] the Court plans to indict people for genocide, wrongdoings against mankind, atrocities and the wrongdoing of aggression.[3] 

This court is intended to be a supranational substance, yet one that would just be used when national courts can’t or unwilling to indict these standards of global law, winning it the moniker a court of final resort. The recognizing highlight of the ICC is that it prosecutes people who have carried out abomination violations, while other global courts concentrate on wrongdoings of state against state.[4] As of 2012, one hundred and twenty-one countries were individuals from the Rome Statute, excluding the United States. 

Regardless of its over and again broadcasted devotion to human rights, the U.S. has neglected to endorse the settlement, as well as has, now and again, effectively conflicted with the Court. While universal duties ought to be taken precisely, the United States’ resistance towards the Court shows not a commitment to state sway, but rather an instance of outrageous American exceptionalism. Numerous researchers say that the inability to approve 

“has harmed the ethical believability of the United States – it now puts the U.S. in the organization of famous human rights abusers like Iraq, North Korea, China, Cuba, Libya and Burma.”[5] 

Amid the protracted civil arguments of the Rome Statute, the United States assumed an extensive part in the conceptualization of the Court. Under the Clinton organization, the United States marked the arrangement yet had reservations about entire approval; the Bush Administration and the strained setting of post-9/11 America made free participation with the Court transform into out and out obstruction. Notoriously, George W. Shrubbery formally unsigned the Rome Statute in his initially term, expressing that the United States perceived no commitment to the Court.[6] Not just did the U.S. unsign the settlement, however a few discretionary moves were made against the Court that typify the genuine duty of the U.S. to American exceptionalism to the exclusion of everything else. 

For instance, Article 98 of the Rome Statue gives that the Court can’t act in a way that would break a state’s earlier global commitments. The Clinton organization’s understanding of the Article was at first outlined in light of the SOFA assentions, securing fighters abroad. In any case, under the Bush confirmation, as abhorrence of the Court was incredibly elevated, Article 98 was utilized to make a web of reciprocal arrangements with different states, proclaiming that each state couldn’t bring any U.S. nationals to the ICC. [7] Acts, for example, this (and others, for example, the Nethercutt Amendment, financial approvals and the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act) encapsulate American exceptionalism at the cost of human rights. Making a two-sided arrangement of unidirectional resistance with expectations of ensuring nationals who may not merit assurance is a humiliating demonstration of the path in which America holds itself exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else. 

Towards the finish of Bush’s second term, in any case, a more even minded way to deal with managing the Court became an integral factor. What’s more, since, the United States’ collaboration with the Court is looking progressively hopeful. President Obama has said he plans to restore positive relations with the Court; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed, “We will end antagonistic vibe to the Court[8].” Although this looks good for sanction later on, the U.S. has made no positive arrangements. This is because of different contentions that endeavor to support the U.S.’ absence of contribution in any case, after assessment, are appeared to be just meagerly covered reasons. 

James Mayerfeld builds up a polarity of two approaches to examine worldwide human rights objectives. Right off the bat, an aggregate approach, for example, the ICC, is gotten through codification of regular law wherein all states pull together similarly and agreeably inside the universal group. Rather than an aggregate approach, the U.S. lean towards a unidirectional model; Mayerfeld depicts this model: 

“Uneven, or unidirectional, requirement varies from anarchic authorization in that the states looking to uphold consistence with human rights standards assert a privilege of exception from any such implementation connected to themselves.”[9] 

Taking a gander at occasions, for example, the Nuremburg Trials, Yugoslavia, Bosnia and centralization of capable nations through system, for example, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), plainly the U.S. is focused on a model of unidirectional exceptionalism. Mayerfeld goes ahead to state, “The declaration of a privilege to implement human rights norms upon others while asserting resistance from comparable authorization upon oneself mocks basic maxims of decency and reciprocity.”[10] To all the more intently assess America’s unidirectional position, its protests to the Court must be analyzed before examining the advantages and global commitments associated with the Court. 

Lawfulness and State Sovereignty 

The most well-known contention against the Court is the conviction that it disregards the U.S. Constitution and the sway of the U.S. by subjecting nationals to another court and in this manner rupturing the preeminent rule that everyone must follow. While these worries are worth examination, a short appraisal of these grievances exhibits that the International Criminal Court, indeed, does not disregard Constitutional principles.[11] 

Legal Power, found in Article III, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, sets up the United States Supreme Court as the most noteworthy lawful authority.[12] But this feedback disregards a standout amongst the most fundamental standards of the Court’s plan; the ICC is not expected to supplant or supersede national courts, it is supranational.[13] With the motivation behind ensuring state power, the Court uses the Complementarity Principle in practicing ward. As suggested, the Court is a reciprocal organization to national courts. Article 17 of the Rome Statute builds up that the Court just has purview when national courts “can’t or unwilling” to arraign violations, and Article 18 of the Statue fortifies the chance of all states to practice national and regional locale inside their own particular courts before the ICC ends up noticeably included. [14] “If national specialists of a state sufficiently research or indict, or on the off chance that they settle on strong grounds not to arraign, the case will be unacceptable under the watchful eye of the Court.”[15] This Complementarity Principle considers the United States to practice the full powers of the Supreme Court at first, not the slightest bit encroaching on Article III. A few researchers even contend that the Court does not abuse Article III’s Judicial forces, but rather that the ICC is really established in both Article II’s energy to make settlements and Article I’s Define and Punish Clause.[16] 

A further note on the supranational parts of the court: a few zones of the Rome Statute’s arranged standard law are absent in the U.S. Constitution. For instance, different definitional issues of genocide (and ethnic purging) make a crevice between U.S. law and the Law of Nations. Before endorsing the Statute, the U.S. should close these holes in its national laws both for standard law as a rule and to abstain from falling under ICC ward as an unwilling country. 

One of the greatest dangers to sanction is the absence of jury trials inside the Court; the ICC prosecutes under the steady gaze of a board of judges. While this apparently damages due process privileges of the Fifth and Six Amendments, Scheffer exhibits that even this is not a rupture of the Constitution. The Complementarity Principle, as depicted above, permits the chance of U.S. nationals to be attempted before a jury in the Supreme Court. And keeping in mind that few occurrences in the past exhibited that the privilege to a jury has not generally been available (particularly in cases of military trials), reservations and corrections to the Court can be made. By additionally guaranteeing the due procedure privileges of nationals, the U.S. could help shape the ICC by upgrading the zones it sees as unfit. For instance, 

“the United States could append an affirmation clarifying that any U.S. national subject to a capture warrant affirmed by the ICC, especially for an outrage wrongdoing submitted in the United States, would be researched and, if justified, arraigned before a U.S. court by jury trial or court martial.”[17] 

Regardless of the quickness of this talk on the complexities of defendability, unmistakably the Court does not damage the Constitution but rather supplements it as a court of final resort. What’s more, the lawfulness pardon does not hold up extremely well while looking at the integral idea of the ICC, and the U.S.’ choices to make revisions and reservations under the watchful eye of the Court. 

Reservations About the UNSC and Jurisdiction 

The autonomy of the Court from the United Nation Security Council is one of the United States’ most prominent complaints, and additionally a limit exhibition of Mayerfeld’s unidirectional model of human rights; if the Court were liable to the Security Council, changeless individuals would have the capacity to veto cases conveyed to the Court. In spite of the fact that the Court acknowledges suggestions from the UNSC, the ICC choices are not made by the Security Council individuals. The insurance of U.S. nationals that could have been gotten through reliance on the UNSC did not come into being.[18] However, when considering the general goal of the Court, clearly an association with the Security Council would make it just an instrument of the real world powers rather than an aggregate, global foundation. The capacity of significant nations to manage the developments of the Court undermines its whole reason; this would be evident to any legitimate researcher, yet the United States looks for this unreasonable and outlandish specialist to convey different nationalities to Court while declining to take responsibility for its own behavior. 

Politicized Prosecutions 

As indicated by U.S. Diplomat Rapp, 

“We’ve had a worry before that the ICC could embrace politically persuaded arraignments, could maybe come after Americans who were occupied with shielding individuals from outrage as opposed to underscoring those that were carrying out the crimes.”[19] 

The dread of politicized arraignments is attached to the structure of the Court’s locale and activating systems, and in addition the part the United States plays on the planet. Cases can be activated through a demand from the United Nations Security Council, according to popular demand of a part state or through the demand of the Prosecutor, engaged by the pre-trial chamber. Besides, the ICC would claim be able to purview both when a part state’s national has carried out an abomination wrongdoing and when a barbarity wrongdoing happens regionally inside the part state. This structure concerns the United States: with military troops conveyed internationally, their part may put them at a higher danger of being arraigned under the territoriality principle.[20] But in the event that that is the worldwide part the U.S. demands playing, so be it. There is no circumstance where military intercession can be utilized as a support for violations, for example, genocide or torment. 

As of late, the ICC has gotten demands for the arraignment of previous President George W. Bramble in view of charged War Crimes in Iraq.[21] Desmond Tutu has expressed, “The Iraq war has destabilized and enraptured the world to a more prominent degree than some other clash in history.”[22] While a few commentators may contend this is a case of politicized indictments, if abomination violations had not been carried out, what is the United States so anxious of? Judge Baltasar Garzon of Spain composes, 

“We should look all the more profoundly into the conceivable criminal obligation of the general population who are, or were, mindful… There is sufficient of a contention in 650,000 passings for this examination and request to begin without more delay.”[23] 

The dread of politicized indictments adds up to simply the U.S.’ refusal to take responsibility for its activities. Its conspicuous military part on the planet will doubtlessly attract regard for the U.S., yet the unbiasedness and protections built up in the Rome Statute will ideally guarantee that the ICC will act just when real barbarity violations are included. The Court, worked with many adjusts and protects, attempts to anticipate outlandish and unwarranted indictments, for example, the United States fears: “Choices are reasonable in light of the fact that they are rendered by unbiased judges, not related to either gathering to the question, and picked on the premise of their capability and respectability.” [24]Ambassador Rapp finishes up, in view of the Court’s short history to date, “hitherto, the Court has been fittingly focused.”[25] 

The Obligation of Natural Law 

The ICC plays an imperative and unmistakable part in global law; it can be seen typically as an unequivocal stride of advance in the overall structure for human rights. The United States’ frustrating part in the Court is plainly of high significance, yet it asks a considerably more extensive inquiry: what is the part that the United States is playing in global law all in all? It appears like a lesson learned by kids: it’s not what you say, it’s your main event. Also, the United States can give (and has given) the same number of verbose addresses as it fancies about its commitment to worldwide human rights, however the majority of its red, white and blue talk makes no difference without conclusive activity. The United States keeps on acting like a domineering jerk rather than the defender of human rights it cases to be. 

In the verbal confrontation over the UNSC and the specifics of lawfulness, numerous pundits of the Court neglect to make a stride back and take a gander at the master plan. While they refer to the need of the United States Supreme Court, they regularly overlook what numerous universal legal counselors consider the genuine preeminent values.[26] Although positivist intuition has ruled late many years of law, [27] normal law can’t be ignored.[28] There are clear standards, regarded by countries and individuals around the globe, which can’t be denied. Suggesting that genocide or torment don’t contain clear moral partitions amongst good and bad is outlandish. The possibility of jus cogens and regular law rests in the underlying foundations of law in general, the plainly obvious truths that make us human.[29] 

“The possibility of a widespread human instinct which perceives that in light of the fact that such a nature is all inclusive and its great regular among all of mankind paying little mind to country, tribe or state, focuses to one worldwide human group because of the mutual idea of all humans.”[30] 

In numerous arrangements and cases of universal law, a positivist perspective is judicious in view of state sway and national intrigue. Yet, with regards to human rights and these exceptionally apparent laws of jus cogens, a naturalist’s point of view must supersede the positivist perspective. An aggregate model of universal law must supplant this unidirectional approach: 

“Since all states have an enthusiasm for a universal framework administered by the govern of law, they will perceive that specific principles must tie them all similarly even where they are contradicting the control’s development.”[31] 

In view of Dubois’ extensive talk, and additionally the general hypotheses of authoritative law, the United States’ association in the ICC is not quite recently gainful; it is an ethical commitment. While numerous faultfinders of the Court refer to the way that the U.S.’ part as the main world hegemon offers insurance against barbarity wrongdoings, for example, torment, the backwards of this contention appears to be more consistent. It is the exceptionally same part as the world police and boss peacemaker that make it vital for the United States to safeguard human rights with more activity and more definitiveness than whatever other country. In the event that the U.S. keeps on demanding driving the world then it should really do as such. Human rights, the most major of all laws, merit far less wavering from what is as far as anyone knows their most grounded supporter. 

In the event that further investigation uncovers that the Court does in reality break due process rights, the United States ought to propose revisions to promote these rights for all people as opposed to surrendering the thoughts of global equity. In the event that the United States has complaints to auxiliary parts of the Court, it should proceed with agreeable talks to make those progressions. The U.S. prides itself on the high usefulness of its legal framework; why might it not utilize its impact to additionally upgrade the global framework for individuals of all nationalities? Altering regions of the Statute offers potential outcomes to improve the Court and would be far desirable over staying uninvolved. 

The capacity of the United States to help shape and reinforce the Court in its initial stages is a critical element. Their participation with the Court would fortify universal law all in all while advancing human rights law: “Joining the Court would be a major lift to its authenticity and workings.”[32] As worldwide and human rights law keeps on developing, the United States would help be able to control its way and additionally lead different nations to do likewise. As of late re-chose President Barak Obama pushed the U.S.’ contribution “on the grounds that there is no compel on the planet more effective than the case of America.”[33] 


“President Obama is by and large excessively weak about joining whatever is left of the world,” said Progressive magazine in 2010, and after two years, approval of the Court still appears to be improbable in the predictable future.[34] There is a urgent qualification between reasonable doubts and rationalizing – the defendability, the shields and the global significance of the Court are plainly demonstrated. What has kept us away from endorsement is not a real worry over matters of due process; it is dread of American nationals and military pioneers being considered responsible for their activities. The International Criminal Court and numerous different parts of the universal group, (for example, the Inner-American Convention or the Convention on Women’s Rights) exhibit the requirement for the United States to change the part it plays in worldwide law from a unidirectional to an aggregate approach. The U.S. can’t proceed with its internationalist position in every single other field and afterward guarantee a nationalistic part with regards to worldwide responsibility. 

This discourse has, not the slightest bit, investigated the majority of the numerous workings of the Rome Statute or the United States’ complaints to it. In any case, by breaking down a few of the United States’ most prominent concerns, it is evident that they don’t appear to be totally earnest or supported. All complaints collect into an arrangement of exceptionalism that disregards standard law and jus cogens. 

As global law develops, the U.S. should help build up the Court as opposed to conflict with it. The hypothesis of regular law exhibits that there are norms of humankind that nations don’t get the chance to quit; the American open ought to be worried by an administration that so firmly protects its rights to submit appalling acts. 

“The thought is that a few wrongdoings, monstrosity violations, are so offensive and stunning to all average individuals that they constitute violations against the prompt casualties, as well as against all of mankind regardless of what situation.”[35]


Bogdan, Attila. 2008. “The United States and the International Criminal Court: Avoiding Jurisdiction Through Bilateral Agreements in Reliance on Article 98.” International Criminal Law Review 8, no.½ (2008).

Doomen, Jasper. “The Meaning of ‘International Law.” Original Law Review 7, no. 2 (2011).

Mayerfeld, James. “Who Shall be Judge? The United States, the International Criminal Court and the Global Enforcement of Human Rights.” Human Rights Quarterly no 1 (2012).

Zwanenburg, Marten. “The Statute for an International Criminal Court and the United States: Peacekeepers Under Fire?.” European Journal of International Law 10, no. 1 (1999).

Swanson, David. “Prosecution of George W. Bush by the International Criminal Court.” Global Research(July 17, 2008)

Scheffer, David, and Ashley Cox. “The Constitutionality of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” The Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology no. 3 (2008): 983.


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