US war crimes envoy appears at International Court


A US envoy for war crimes has appeared at the International Criminal Court for the first time.

Stephen Rapp spoke as an observer at the court’s annual meeting in the Hague, saying the US was keen to better understand the workings of the court. The US has in the past refused to join the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to try individuals for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The court can only try people from countries which have ratified it

Mr Rapp attended the annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties, which is made up of 110 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute that founded the court in 2002.

He mentioned again the US concerns over the term “aggression” in the statute.

“Our view has been and remains that should the Rome Statute be amended to include a defined crime of aggression, jurisdiction should follow a Security Council determination that aggression has occurred,” he said.

Once again, our government takes baby steps at repairing the damage of decades of conservative cowardice. Our politicians are so bloody afraid of being adjudged responsible for our actions – political, military and corporate – that we’d rather stay out of the legal process altogether.

Instead of being a force for good, we’ve been a force for non-compliance and copouts.

3 thoughts on “US war crimes envoy appears at International Court

    • Mr. Fusion says:


      The photo is the reason I can’t bring myself to comment on the story. A good post, but the photo is just too powerful.

  1. Update says:

    The outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) hit out on Monday at sanctions slapped on her by the Trump Administration in her final speech to an annual gathering of the court’s member states before she leaves office next year.
    Fatou Bensouda noted at the start of her speech to the Assembly of States Parties that the court and her prosecution office were “subjected to unprecedented and wholly unacceptable threats, attacks and sanctions this past year”.
    In September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a freeze on assets held in the US or subject to US law by Bensouda and the court’s head of jurisdiction, Phakiso Mochochoko.
    Earlier in the year, the US slapped a travel ban on Bensouda and other court officials investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, including Israel, for possible war crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
    Bensouda said the measures were an attack on the court and its member states and represented “a dangerous precedent for a rule-based international system”.
    She said: “It is my sincere hope that the US reverses its aggressive policy of antagonism towards the court. No one wins from such attacks.”
    It is not yet clear how the vexed relationship between the US and the global court will change when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next year.

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