Friday, February 18, 2005

Iraq Joins ICC: World Yawns

Am I the only person startled by Iraq's apparent decision to adhere to the International Criminal Court? Apparently, I am because none of the U.S. papers or even the BBC are reporting this story. The only reports I have been able to find confirming this announcement by the outgoing provisional government in Iraq have been in French newspapers. My French is not great, but this excerpt from Le Monde appears to confirm my earlier post:

La République d'Irak a adhéré au statut de Rome créant la Cour pénale internationale signé le 17 juillet 1998", indique le texte du décret-loi, soulignant que les dispositions de ce statut "représentent des valeurs communes à l'ensemble de l'humanité.

Maybe this was always going to happen. And maybe Iraq has already concluded an "Article 98" agreement that exempts U.S. or coalition forces from the jurisdiction of the ICC. But if not, this could be very important because U.S. soldiers who participated in the Abu Ghraib abuses or who are accused in the future of committing war crimes will be subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC. Even if U.S. soldiers do have an exemption, Iraq's decision to adhere to the ICC is a blow to U.S. given the strength of U.S. opposition to the ICC.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

US soldiers wouldn't be subject to ICC jurisdiction for events prior to Iraq's decision to enter into the statute, would they? I didn't think there was automatic retroactivity.

2/19/2005 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Chapman said...

I believe the US has a standing policy of not deploying troops into ICC jurisdiction without a treaty (article 98 agreement?) exempting them from prosecution. If Iraq hasn't made such an agreement, could this be a subtle way of asking US forces to leave?

2/20/2005 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure the US has an art. 98 agreement with Iraq.

2/23/2005 10:13 AM  
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