U.S. Congress Rejects Anti-ICC Provisions

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Friday, February 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
During the third week of December, Senate and House conferees considering a Defense Department appropriations bill rejected an amendment proposed by Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina to attach the anti-International Criminal Court (ICC) provisions of “American Servicemember’s Protection Act” (ASPA). Despite the rejection of the harsher provisions, the position of the Bush Administration and Congress towards the ICC are not positive and are in transition. The ASPA would have authorized the U.S. president “to use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any person” detained by the ICC who is an official or member of the military from the United States. The ASPA provisions, while attached to a one-year appropriates bill, would have required a permanent ban on cooperation with the ICC.