ICC Will have Enough Signatures To Take Effect As U.S. Contemplates Position

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Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
As the International Criminal Court’s achievement of enough ratifications to take effect becomes imminent (April 11 is the expected date), the United States Government has still not determined its position as it European allies are warning the U.S. against any hostile positions. The U.N. and court supporters have set April 11 as the date when the 60th country will ratify the treaty, which will achieve the number requirement for the ICC to take effect. As of March 28, 139 countries had signed the Rome treaty and 56 had ratified it. At least nine more are expected to sign it. In April the house International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign relations Committee are expected to debate a bill that includes Republic Senator Jesse Helms’s American Services-Members Protection Act that would prohibit any U.S. cooperation with the ICC. It would require the prohibition of U.S. aid or military support to most countries that join the court. However, the U.S. needs to support of these countries in it counter-terrorism efforts. Another provisions authorizes the U.S. president to use force if necessary to free a U.S. citizen unfairly imprisoned by the ICC.