CGA’s Trahan on U.S. government’s recognition of Rome Statute

Prof. Jennifer Trahan’s op-ed “U.S. Affirms That it Adheres To Rome Statute Signatory Obligations: It Should Put This in Writing” has been posted on Opinio Juris.

The op-ed notes recent high-level U.S. government statements that the U.S. does respect the “object and purpose” of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute–a welcome reversal of the position of the past administration which disavowed even that minimal commitment regarding the ICC.  While Trahan praises the U.S. Government position, she also argues that it needs to be in writing it if is going to conclusively reverse the position of the past administration.

A little-noticed event has taken place. Before he returned to Yale Law School, top State Department Legal Advisor Harold H. Koh has made it clear in three speeches that the U.S. (despite an earlier writing to the contrary made under the Bush Administration), does respect the “object and purpose” of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. In other words, the U.S. considers itself a signatory to the treaty. Koh’s words—which reaffirm only a lose commitment to support the Court—are nonetheless a significant step in the right direction, continuing the U.S.’s policy (under the Obama Administration) of positive engagement with the ICC.

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