v8n1_12 - A Case Study in Declining American Hegemony:...

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A Case Study in Declining American Hegemony: Flawed Policy Concerning the ICC by Eric K. Leonard O n April 11, 2002, a group of state representatives, along with a coalition of non- governmental organizations, International Criminal Court supporters, and media personnel, gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The purpose of this gathering was to celebrate the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). At this event, the Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court received its 60th ratification, establishing it as a functioning organization. 1 For many states, NGOs, and other human rights advocates, this marked a joyous moment in the struggle to uphold international humanitarian law and the principles of global justice. However, as a large portion of the international community celebrated, the United States began action to “unsign” the Rome Statute. 2 In the words of US Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, Pierre-Richard Prosper: Today, at the request of the President, our mission up in the United Nations deposited a note with the UN Secretary-General as the depository of the Rome Treaty for the International Criminal Court stating that the United States does not intend to become a party to the ICC treaty and accordingly has no legal obligation as a result of our signature on December 31st, 2000. The president decided that this step was appropriate, and an important one in order make our position clear—our position that we will not support the ICC, believing that the document is flawed in many regards. 3 Since that time, the Bush administration’s opposition to the Court continues. 4 In the 2004 presidential debates, President Bush twice referred to the ICC. In both instances, the President reiterated his opposition to the Court due to the fact that it can prosecute American citizens, troops, and diplomats. His administration also referenced the Court in its 2002 National Security Strategy: We will take actions necessary to ensure that our efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept. 5 Eric K. Leonard holds the Henkel Family Chair in International Affairs at Shenandoah University. He has published several articles on conceptualizations of sovereignty, global governance, and the International Criminal Court. His recently published book is entitled, The Onset of Global Governance: International Relations Theory and the International Criminal Court (2005).The author would like to thank Dan Green, Kurt Burch, and his students at Shenandoah University for their helpful comments. 147
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course INTERNATIO 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Boise State.

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v8n1_12 - A Case Study in Declining American Hegemony:...

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