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Political Constraints upon the International Criminal Court

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Chapter Summary

Different perspectives about the prospects for the International Criminal Court (ICC) derive from whether the viewer focuses on the character of the Court's creation, or on political context that determines whether it succeeds in helping to end impunity for the most serious international crimes. The chief destroyer of the ICC is undoubtedly the US Government. The key political problem for the US with the ICC is its potential or symbolic independence from the Security Council. States supporting the ICC made many compromises at the Rome Conference to gain US acquiescence. After the renewal of Resolution 1422, the EU adopted a very bland common position on the ICC, mainly encouraging non-Parties to the ICC to ratify the treaty. Russian policy toward the ICC has been ambivalent. Ironically, the divisions in the Security Council that prevented a renewal in 2004 of Resolution 1487 might provide the ICC with a crucial breathing space.

Keywords: International Criminal Court (ICC); Rome Conference; Russian policy; Security Council



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