Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Sarah Dixon
Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions
United States of America
Forest Hills Eastern
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a source of concern regarding inequality, despite its intended purpose of justly trying individuals as a final resort court for the most malevolent of crimes. The ICC, formed in 2002 after the 1998 adoption of the Rome Statute, includes 123 States Parties. The ICC’s implementation of the Rome Statute lacks principle due to the court’s inability to manage its proposed cases. The ICC overextends itself by attempting to hold trials for individuals from non-States Parties, many of which have proven to be capable of executing their own trials with objectivity and equality.
The United States of America is not a State Party of the ICC and will never ratify the Rome Statute. The ICC lacks legitimate authority, yet attempts to claim ubiquitous jurisdiction over the citizens of every nation. This claim to power violates all principles of justice and due process. The US will never surrender its sovereignty to an unelected and unchecked global bureaucracy. Furthermore, the ICC has already demonstrated a failure to respect justice in multiple respects: retrials based on errors of fact, allowance of hearsay evidence, inadequate protection of the right to a speedy or public trial with reasonable bail, and the lack of jury trials. Compliance with the demands of the ICC would contradict the very nature of the US Constitution, especially as it would allow the trial of US citizens in a foreign court for crimes committed on US soil. Furthermore, the ICC remains unnecessary for cases involving US citizens, merely infringing on the authority of US military and domestic courts which, together, already execute trials on war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, and the conscription of child soldiers. The United States has no problem with the ICC’s assertion of control over nationals from submissive or corrupt countries; however, the ICC must respect that it has no claim to jurisdiction over principled non-States Parties such as the US.
The United States of America does not recognize the authority of the ICC and defends the sovereign jurisdiction of US courts over cases concerning US citizens; however, the US does acknowledge the importance of the ICC’s role in protecting accountability for atrocities. While the US will not support any ICC attempts to gain authority over US nationals, the US will continue to support the ICC’s efforts in certain dire cases. The US has a legacy of supporting countless international, regional, and domestic tribunals to provide justice for victims of atrocities, and the US will continue to do so through cooperative relations. The US suggests to the Legal Committee to continue the reform of the ICC as a court of last resort in punishing and deterring atrocity crimes. Such a reform will allow the ICC to prioritize situations that truly demand outside assistance while protecting righteous non-States Parties from an unnecessary infringement on their rights.