ASIL Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the International Criminal Court
In the fall of 2008, the American Society of International Law convened a blue-ribbon task force to examine the U.S. relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ASIL Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the ICC is studying the Court’s work to date, reviewing current U.S. policy toward the Court, and developing recommendations that can inform the U.S. approach toward the Court.
The Court’s track record these past six years and its involvement in situations, such as Darfur, that are of great interest to the United States, suggest that there may be important new ways in which the U.S. might engage and support the Court, whether joining it or short of joining it, and that a Task Force could effectively advance such policy options. Timing, with arrival of the new administration in 2009 and the ICC Review Conference in 2010, gives the Task Force’s work added significance.
“Ten years after the signing of the Rome Treaty, the time is ripe to assess the work of the Court and its role in situations of great interest to the U.S.,” observed Elizabeth Andersen, ASIL Executive Director. “We hope that this non-partisan task force will bring needed objectivity to the debate about the Court.”
Co-Chairing the Task Force are ASIL Counselors William H. Taft, IV, former Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State, and Judge Patricia M. Wald, formerly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Joining them are: Mickey Edwards, former U.S. Congressman; Michael Newton, Professor, Vanderbilt University Law School; Sandra Day O’Connor, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (retired); Stephen Schwebel, former Judge and President, International Court of Justice; David Tolbert, former Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Special Expert to the U.N. Secretary General about the Extraordinary Court in the Chambers of Cambodia; and Ruth Wedgwood, Professor, Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
The Task Force convened in person in Washington, DC, several times between October 2008 and February 2009 in order to re-evaluate U.S. policy toward the Court and to develop recommendations for future policy. The Task Force held its first meeting on October 23, 2008, focusing on key aspects of the U.S. relationship to the ICC from 1998 to the present. The Task Force devoted time to defining the issues to be addressed and discussed with invited expert guests from the executive and congressional branches of the U.S. government, including the U.S. military. Subsequently, the Task Force met with officials of the ICC and the Assembly of States Parties, experts from Europe, as well as individuals holding US, non-governmental and advocacy perspectives. The December 16-17, 2008, meeting concentrated on the opportunities for and constraints on future U.S. cooperation with the ICC. At the Task Force's final meeting in early 2009, the group further discussed its findings and recommendations. The Task Force’s final report and recommendations were presented at the ASIL Annual Meeting at the end of March 2009.
The funding for this project comes from a two-year grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
For further information, contact Sheila Ward, Director of Communications and Member Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.