Friday, November 27, 2009

International Criminal Court Getting Close to Claiming Jurisdiction Over American Troops

International Criminal Court (ICC) appears to be getting close to claiming jurisdiction over American troops fighting in Afghanistan. They do not go as far as to claim they do, but are conducting "preliminary examination" into it. I hope Obama will be as steadfast as his predecessor opposing the jurisdiction of the ICC. The constitution is the foundation of our laws, the People, Congress, Courts and Executive can all play some part in modifying those laws. Non-American-citizens and foreign governments should have no control over the American justice system.

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "great regret" in August that the U.S. is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This has fueled speculation that the Obama administration may reverse another Bush policy and sign up for what could lead to the trial of Americans for war crimes in The Hague.

The ICC's chief prosecutor, though, has no intention of waiting for Washington to submit to the court's authority. Luis Moreno Ocampo says he already has jurisdiction—at least with respect to Afghanistan.

Because Kabul in 2003 ratified the Rome Statute—the ICC's founding treaty—all soldiers on Afghan territory, even those from nontreaty countries, fall under the ICC's oversight, Mr. Ocampo told me. And the chief prosecutor says he is already conducting a "preliminary examination" into whether NATO troops, including American soldiers, fighting the Taliban may have to be put in the dock.

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