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 Sunday, June 22, 2003

  US Exemption from International Criminal Court

The U.N. Security Council last week on Thursday(June 10) approved another one-year exemption for American peacekeepers from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) . The vote was passed 12-0 with three abstentions.

It authorizes a year-long exemption from arrest or trial for peacekeepers from the United States and other countries that have not ratified the Rome Treaty establishing the court.

The US had originally sought for permanent exemption.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced disagreement any attempt to make the exemption permanent, saying it would undermine the court, the authority of the U.N. Security Council “and the legitimacy of United Nations peacekeeping.”

    Latest! UGANDA will receive US$200,000 (about sh400m) in military aid from the US following the signing with the US exempting American soldiers on international combat assignments from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Yoweri Museveni, while on a visit to the US, signed the bilateral accord with Secretary of State Collin Powell.
The ICC court was established to deal with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and -- eventually – “aggression,” Crimes against humanity include systematic murder or torture, rape and sexual slavery. Crimes committed before July 1, 2002, cannot be prosecuted. The first prosecutor for the ICC, Argentinean lawyer, Luis Moreno Ocampo was sworn in on June 17, 2003

Click here Website/Homepage of the ICC

All 15 EU nations had signed the Rome Treaty.

The Rome Treaty establishing the ICC came into force on July 1, 2002, ratified by 74 countries and signed by 139.

Among the notable supporters is the European Union. In addition to the United States, Israel also has refused to ratify the treaty. Other notable objectors include China, India and Pakistan.

The United States objects to Americans being subjected to ICC's jurisdiction if a crime is committed in a country that has ratified the Rome Treaty that established the court -- even if the United States is not a party.

The US wants American and other peacekeepers from countries that have NOT ratified the treaty be exempt from arrest and prosecution by ICC. But the ICC supporters say that the Rome Treaty had sufficient safeguards and that the ICC will only intervene when countries are unwilling or unable to dispense justice themselves.

Temporary tribunals have been set up by the U.N. Security Council in the past to try individuals for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Read HERE list of countries that have signed and/or ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

  • Countries that have SIGNED Exemption accords with the US to exempt American personnel from ICC jurisdiction AND have also ratified the Rome Treaty include :Romania, East Timor, Tajikistan, the Marshall Islands, Honduras, Djibouti, Nauru, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Gabon, Ghana, Albania, Bosnia and Bolivia.

  • Countries that have signed Exemption accords with the US but NOT yet ratified the Rome Treaty include Israel, the Dominican Republic, Uzbekistan, Madagascar, Bahrain, the Philippines and Egypt.

  • States that have signed Exemption accords with US and have NOT signed the Rome Treaty include Palau, Mauritania, Rwanda, Tonga, Maldives, Micronesia, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Tuvalu, Azerbaijan, and Bhutan.

    There is another separate international court called, International Court of Justice (ICJ) , known as the World Court, deals only with disputes between nations and not individuals. The ICJ was set up in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations.

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