Copyright (c) 2001 Cornell International Law Journal
Cornell International Law Journal
ARTICLE: United States Opposition to the 1998 Rome Statute Establishing an International Criminal Court:
Is the Court's Jurisdiction Truly Complementary to National Criminal Jurisdictions?
November, 2001 / February, 2002
35 Cornell Int'l L.J. 1
In an historic event, on July 17, 1998, 120 nations adopted and opened for signature the Statute Creating an International Criminal Court at the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court held in Rome, Italy. 1 Most commentators believe that a permanent International Criminal Court is necessary to ensure that acts of mass murder, rape, and torture are not committed with impunity, and individuals responsible for such heinous acts and serious violations of international humanitarian law are brought to justice and severely punished for their crimes. In support of a permanent International Criminal Court, one commentator has noted:
Armed conflicts and serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law continue to victimize millions of people throughout the world. As a result, more than 86 million civilians have died, been disabled or been stripped of their rights, property and dignity since the end of World War II. The world community has done very little for them or their families. Most victims have been forgotten and few perpetrators have been brought to justice. A culture of impunity seems to have prevailed. 2
At the same time, the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court is not a new or novel idea. The international community has studied the possibility of establishing such a court for at least fifty years. 3 In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly invited the International Law Commission (ILC) to study the matter with respect to the prosecution of persons charged ...
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