The international criminal court came into being in 2002 under the signing of Rome Statute. It is an international tribunal obligated with the responsibility of promoting justice by prosecuting and charging perpetrators of war crimes, genocide and crime against humanity and aggression. Under the provisions of Rome statute, the international criminal court persecutes and charges perpetrators on war crimes when national courts feel they cannot rule over such cases (Ralph 78). The court has the power of reviewing and ruling over cases on war crime, genocide and crime against humanity that were committed on and after 1st July 2002; the date when the tribunal was established. Since its establishment in 2002, more than 121 states have signed as members, but less than thirty nations have not ratified their membership. United States is one of the states that signed its membership with the international criminal court in 2002, but it failed to ratify its participation. Over the years, the question on whether United States should become a member or not of the international criminal court remains a controversial topic. This issue has raised a heated debate among members of the public and other state quotas. Different people have provided diverge view on this issue with s segment of the population supporting the proposal and other opposing.
In shading more light on this issue, Judy Jackson; the director of the documentary, “In Search for Justice International Justice”, provide merits and demerits, which revolve on this topic. In her documentary, Judy bases her analysis on the following substantive facts.
Firstly, it will be a violation of the constitution when United States joins as a member of the International criminal court. Under the constitution, the Supreme Court remains the most powerful court in the country obligated with responsibility of handling cases of such magnitude. Allowing the international criminal court to persecute and charge American citizens on crime against humanity, genocide and aggression, will amount to sabotage of the constitution. Additionally, the constitution should be amended so that to provide the provision upon, which United States can ratify membership. Such alteration in the constitution increases government expenditure.
Secondly, the enactment of American Servicemember’s Protection Act of 2000, prohibits federal government from supporting the international criminal court by arresting perpetrators issued with arrest warrant (Scharf 97). The act articulates that any American soldiers persecuted for committing crime against humanity by the international court should not be released from custody. This act hinders United States from cooperating and supporting the international criminal court because it is against the provision of the constitution.
Thirdly, the International Criminal Court lacks credible due process required for fair trial. United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court because the court lacks jury trials, limits provision for speedy and effective trials and basis its judgement on hearsay facts. A jury trial remains an imperative component in the court setting because it allows judges to review facts and evidence presented in the court before confirming charges. Many people have been wrongly convicted in the International Criminal court because judges fail to address these issues.
Consequently, United States should join International Criminal Court under the following assertions. Firstly, in order to maintain its dignity and influence as superpower nation in the world. United States need to lead by example because it is regarded as a superpower nation globally. The fact that it has not ratified its membership with the ICC raises a concern to other states thus lowering the country’s reputation and credibility in international matters.
Secondly, Judy articulates that the act of United States ratifying its membership promotes justice and democracy in the region. Many perpetrators of crime against humanity and form of atrocities have not been persecuted and convicted; an idea that prevent justice to prevail. United States should be a member of the court so that to promote justice and restore sanity in the world.
United States should not ratify its membership with the International Criminal Court because the move violates the constitution, ratification process calls for constitution amendment and lack of effective due process.
In search of international justice. Dir. Judy Jackson. Perf. Judy jackson. Bullfrog Films, 2005.
Ralph, Jason. Defending the Society of States. Why America Opposes the International Criminal Court and its Vision of World Society,.. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Scharf, Michael. ""The Politics behind U.S. Opposition to the International Criminal Court." Wing/Spring 5.1 (1999): 97. Print