Us Should Participate In The International Criminal Court San Francisco State And Ir 308 Argumentative Paper

2612 words - 11 pages

Paula Sison
IR 308: Final Paper
Professor Anthony P.
December 19, 2017
United States in the International Criminal Court
“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one,” said Voltaire. At the time, the great enlightenment thinker was an amid advocate of many basic human rights that can be found in our first amendment, such as the freedom of speech. Human rights that is should be protected by everyone, as it applies to all. The establishment of the international criminal court otherwise formerly known as the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court aims to bring justice by establishing this international institution that will have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity. Crimes that include “The crime of genocide; Crimes against humanity; War crimes; The crime of aggression.” [footnoteRef:1] Therefore the United States should continue to promote justice and peace by re-signing and ratifying this statute. A third party institution that will allow US national convicts to be held accountable for the crimes they commit overseas. At the same time, the international community is able to check on the United States to avoid any political manipulation to hinder the statute’s purpose to bring justice against humanity. [1: “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” United Nations, United Nations, legal.un.org/icc/statute/romefra.htm.]
The Rome Statute of International Criminal Court of 1998 starts off with “the most serious crimes of concerns to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished…” On July 17, 1998, 120 states convened in Rome to establish the first permanent international criminal court in mankind. At the time of the convention, the Clinton administration did not initially sign the treaty because they had some reserves regarding the jurisdiction of the ICC. Regardless, the United States have always been in the forefront of institutionalism and this is evident as we look back in history or just crimes that the ICC have jurisdiction over. Analyzing the participation of the United States in global institutions such as the ICC will only indicate that ratifying this statute will help further the promotion of ICC’s main goal, to bring justice and promote worldwide cooperation.
According to Article 6 of the Rome Statute of ICC, the definition of ‘genocide’ in appliance to the statute are “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Then it goes on to define how a crime can be considered a genocide. The author emphasizes the word ‘group’ in their description of the act. The Rome Statute of International Court was established in 1998, and came into full effect in 2002, years after repeated genocides have past within the century.
The United States is the home of the majority of ethnic backgrounds around the world, due to the major migration waves we’ve had over years. But overtime, the United States grew to became powerful and selfish just like many superpowers around the world. The political agendas, and the internal and external political manipulation prevented the United States from participating in international institutions established to exert justice for genocides such as the ICC. Governments continue to cover up stories of genocides from their people to avoid any public interest towards the ongoing events happening to other parts of the world. Michael Sheehan, a peacekeeping advisor and an important figure in the Bush administration during the Somalia tragedy in 1992 calls the Rwanda genocide a “silence on that issue at the time. It was only later, in mid-May and later, as the horrors came into full view, that there was a rush of helpers later.”[footnoteRef:2] And he was right. There was not much news of the Rwanda situation. Not in the media or the editorial. Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, John Shattuck said in an interview, the Clinton administration at the time took a toll on human rights as they extend trading agreements with China “without any human right conditions imposed, which he had imposed a year earlier.”
orks Cited Page:
International Criminal Court document. e principle of ' without any political agenda at play. The creation of From a realist perspective, the United States repeatedly and evidently [2: Power, Samantha. “America's Response to the Genocide.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 1 Apr. 2004, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/themes/response.html.]
throughout history will abandon their beliefs and advocacy in exchange for their selfish interests. But by ratifying and including ourselves along with the 122 states who believe that accountability for such tragedies is vital in preventing future genocides through the establishment of the International Criminal Court.
With the United States signature on the Rome Statute of ICC, they will be helping in promoting international cooperation and peace. The participation of the United States into the ICC will give our nation a stronger voice and credibility into creating future legal standards that affects the world. With this power, we can help by participating into the legal proceedings that will show the world, that various nations are capable in creating harmony by giving justice to those who have been wronged by these crimes against humanity.
Over the years, the United States have established themselves as an admired example for the avocation of human rights. Our history is filled with continuous battle for basic human rights since the foundation of our nation. We adapted John Locke’s ideas of the right to life and liberty, with Jefferson’s right to pursue happiness. Our participation in the development of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 established after World War II was commendable. The document stated rules that apply during “armed conflict and seek to limit effects. They protect people not taking art in hostilities and those who are no longer doing so.” According to the International Committee of Red Cross, it “contains the essential rule of the (first couple) of the Geneva Conventions in a condensed format and makes them applicable to conflicts not of an international character.”[footnoteRef:3] Which means that although the convention established some preventive mass destruction policies, it fails to take into account the humanitarian loss aside from focusing on the tragic loss of millions of combatants on the field. It only includes the provisions the states must provide after the territory has been occupied. It foregoes the fundamental human [3: “The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Their Additional Protocols.” International Committee of the Red Cross, 28 Mar. 2017, www.icrc.org/en/document/geneva-conventions-1949-additional-protocols.]
right to live, because realistically in wartimes, its common knowledge that people die. Domestically, we’re an admirable state, but internationally our foreign policy towards the violation of human rights is false advertisement on our part.
The Rome Statute of ICC establishes a series of description in Article 7: Crimes Against Humanity that include an elaboration of protection for an “attack directed against any civilian population.” Article 7 states that crimes of humanity include the following: “Murder; Extermination; Enslavement; Deportation or forcible transfer of population; imprisonment or severe deprivation of physical liberty; persecution of ethnic or religious groups; enforced kidnapping; Apartheid; and great physical and mental deterioration of health or suffering.” The support of the United States to an institution that aims to find justice against human right violators such as the ICC will help improve our global persona and check our nation’s actions overseas.
The United States government should sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court for the purpose of strengthening the avocation of justice against crimes against humanity. We all know that US possess great influence in the international scene, and by signing it, means that one of the most powerful countries is showing that the international community must come together once and for all to promote justice and peace. Who knows, this sentiment may encourage other nations to rise up against the tyranny of powerful individuals in their country who have committed atrocious crimes against its people. They might wake up one day and realize that ‘justice can be served.’ Furthermore, this action will allow the international community to check US actions because as we all know, there’s a reason why many countries hate us due to our overly selfish actions. United States should be a country that values the importance of justice not a country that protects its own criminals in fear of exposure.
At the the time of the ratification, the United States opted out of the Bush administration had many reserves in regards the ramifications and the role of the ICC in its legal and judicial proceedings with their US nationals. Their main arguments revolved around the “adequate checks and balanced on powers of the [Court’s] prosecutor and judges; the dilution of the U.N. Security Council's authority over international criminal prosecutions; and the lack of any effective mechanism to prevent politicized prosecutions of American service members and officials.”[footnoteRef:4] [4: Bialik, Kristen. “U.S. Active-Duty Military Presence Overseas Is at Its Smallest in Decades.”Pew Research Center, 22 Aug. 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/22/u-s-active-duty-military-presence-overseas-is-at-its-smallest-in-decades/.]
Currently, around 1.3 million US military personnel are active with 15% of them are deployed abroad, according to Pew Research Center. [footnoteRef:5] While 73, 206 of those soldiers are currently stationed in military bases placed in Asia, particularly in South Korea. Kristen Bialik notes in “U.S active-duty Military Presence Overseas is at its Smallest in Decades,” that there have been less US military personnel deployed abroad ever since the Vietnam War in 1960s. Looking at the statistics, the amount of soldier we have abroad is still high after 60 years despite the fact that our country is no longer at war with another. Most likely because of the impending threats that North Korea makes against the United States with their nuclear power. With such military presence worldwide, our government is protecting their interests economically and its desire to stay a hegemon. [5: Bradley, Curtis A. “U.S. Announces Intent Not to Ratify International Criminal Court Treaty.”U.S. Announces Intent Not to Ratify International Criminal Court Treaty, 11 May 2002, www.asil.org/insights/volume/7/issue/7/us-announces-intent-not-ratify-international-criminal-court-treaty.]
For decades, United States has been in the forefront of globalization. We’ve become a hegemon in the global arena whether it may be in business, media entertainment, or political ideologies. On top of that, our military presence is extensive overseas.
In addition, the United States fears that the International Criminal Court lacks prudent safeguards against political manipulation and an abundance of authority without the accountability of the UN Security Council. Countries developed the international court in hopes of creating a true criminal court without the influence of politics. By giving the UN Security Council jurisdiction over the ICC, the court will lose its fundamental purpose since the UN Security Council is made up of political officials who have their own agendas. Separating the UN Security Council and the ICC, will prevent any political manipulation from the members of the UN Security Council. Besides, although the UN Security Council does not have complete power over the court, they are able to exert their influence by giving advise to the court on which kinds of cases the ICC should take. As a matter of fact, most of the cases that ICC take on are cases that the UN Security Council referred. On the other hand, the matter of political manipulations from outside sources are countered by the changing of the ICC judges every 9 years which makes it impossible for political influences to exert pressure based on the hope of pre-election.
“On March 25, the Supreme Court ruled that the International Court of justice (ICJ) did not override state procedural requirements governing post-conviction proceedings for convicted criminals.” In the case of Ernesto Medellin, a Mexican national was arrested in Texas for the alleged accessory to the rape and murder of two girls. According to the reports, he was not informed of his right under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations to notify the Mexican government of his detainment in the United States. In the end the Supreme Court ruled that the ICJ’s decision are “self executing,” essentially favoring the prosecution of Medellin and ruled against the defendant’s arguments against the ICJ.
One of the biggest reasons as to why the United States opposed to the signing of the Rome Statute was because they feared that the ICC would override our constitution. But according to Article 17: Issues of admissibility of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the ICC may only prosecute or investigate a possible case if the “state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution…[or] the proceedings were not or are not being conducted independently or impartially…with the intent to bring the person
concerned to justice.” So the only way for the ICC to investigate is if the United States is deemed to have been found to delay the investigation or is unwilling or unable to bring the person in offense be accountable for their crimes against humanity. For US to refuse such investigation only shows our hypocrisy and our unwillingness to bring justice and cooperate,
which can be seen as trying to protect possible criminals.
Looking closely at our Constitution under the Judicial Power found in Article III, Section I establishes the United States Supreme Court as the highest legal authority. Which means that the intention of the international criminal court is not to replace or override the current judicial power already in place in sovereignties, but instead the ICC should be utilize as aide to help prosecute these criminals.
Furthermore, many government officials feared that the due process of rights of the fifth and sixth amendments that the utilization of panel of judges instead of a jury conflicts with our democratic idea of the utilization of a jury. That’s why they included the Complimentary Principle in the Rome Statute to allow US nationals to receive the same constitutional rights they would have. I propose that for additional provisions in regards to the treatment of these criminals. We must ensure that the legal proceedings and trial of the defendants remain unbiased and without any political agenda at play. The creation of the international Criminal Court was to help safeguard the principle of a ‘fair trial.”
The United States government should sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court for the purpose of strengthening the avocation of justice against crimes against humanity. We all know that US possess great influence in the international scene, and by signing it, means that one of the most powerful countries is showing that the international community must come together once and for all to promote justice and peace. Who knows, this sentiment may encourage other nations to rise up against the tyranny of powerful individuals in their country who have committed atrocious crimes against its people. They might wake up one day and realize that ‘justice can be served.’ Furthermore, this action will allow the international community to check US actions because as we all know, there’s a reason why many countries hate us due to our overly selfish actions. United States should be a country that values the importance of justice not a country that protects its own criminals in fear of exposure.
Works Cited Page:
1. “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.” United Nations, United Nations, legal.un.org/icc/statute/romefra.htm.
2. Power, Samantha. “America's Response to the Genocide.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 1 Apr. 2004, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/themes/response.html.
3.“The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Their Additional Protocols.” International Committee of the Red Cross, 28 Mar. 2017, www.icrc.org/en/document/geneva-conventions-1949-additional-protocols.
4. Bradley, Curtis A. “U.S. Announces Intent Not to Ratify International Criminal Court Treaty.”U.S. Announces Intent Not to Ratify International Criminal Court Treaty, 11 May 2002, www.asil.org/insights/volume/7/issue/7/us-announces-intent-not-ratify-international-criminal-court-treaty.
5. Acosta, Luis. “Global Legal Monitor.” United States: Judgment by International Court of Justice Held Not Binding on State Courts | Global Legal Monitor, 2 Apr. 2008, www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/united-states-judgment-by-international-court-of-justice-held-not-binding-on-state-courts/.
6. Bialik, Kristen. “U.S. Active-Duty Military Presence Overseas Is at Its Smallest in Decades.”Pew Research Center, 22 Aug. 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/22/u-s-active-duty-military-presence-overseas-is-at-its-smallest-in-decades/.

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