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Strange bedfellows: The relationship between the International Criminal Court and the United States

Wheeler, Caleb H. ORCID: 2024. Strange bedfellows: The relationship between the International Criminal Court and the United States. Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy 14 (1) , pp. 35-84.

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The United States and the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’ or ‘the Court’) have had a tempestuous relationship since the Court’s founding in 1998. Although the United States was heavily involved in negotiating and drafting the ICC’s Statute (‘ICC Statute’, ‘the Statute’ or ‘the Rome Statute’), it was one of seven countries to vote against the final agreement. Since then, the United States has resisted calls to become a member of the Court due to its persistent objections to certain aspects of the Statute, many of which focus on the way in which the ICC can exercise its jurisdiction. This article examines the legitimacy of the United States’ objections to the ICC in an effort to establish whether the United States would be a suitable state party should it wish to join the Court at some later date. It does this in two substantive parts. First, it appraises the relationships each of the last five presidential administrations have had with the ICC. Through this it identifies the different approaches taken by each administration towards the Court and the nature of their objections to the ICC. Next, it reviews three different aspects of the negotiations leading to the Court’s establishment to determine whether there is any basis for the United States’ position vis-à-vis the Court. The article concludes that the way the United States would like the Rome Statute to be applied is not consistent with the ICC’s object and purpose. As a result, if the ICC were to welcome the United States as a member it would likely have to sacrifice success in its overall mission to do so.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Wake Forest University School of Law
ISSN: 2160-4967
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 10 April 2023
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2024 08:01

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