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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, February 05, 2010

United States sovereignty not to be meddled with

By Amanda Reinecker
The Heritage Foundation:
"Over the past two decades, there have been a number of attempts to subject Americans to an international judicial system with jurisdiction over war crimes and the like. This idea of a 'world court' became a reality in 1998 with the introduction of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Court itself was officially established in 2002 after 60 countries ratified the statute.

To date, no U.S. President has submitted the Rome Statute to the Senate for the advice and consent necessary for ratification. Last summer, Heritage Foundation experts Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves released an analysis paper explaining why past Presidents were right not to seek ratification. They wrote:

Past U.S. Administrations concluded that the Rome Statute created a seriously flawed institution that lacks prudent safeguards against political manipulation, possesses sweeping authority without accountability to the U.N. Security Council, and violates national sovereignty by claiming jurisdiction over the nationals and military personnel of non-party states in some circumstances.

The Obama administration's announcement last week that it would not seek ratification was certainly a welcome one. But the administration left the door open for enhanced American cooperation in the International Criminal Court. But this "enhanced" cooperation would require altering important policies that protect our military servicemen and civilian officials from being transferred to the ICC without U.S. consent.

So although the U.S. has once again rejected the Rome Statute, the ICC still poses a danger to our sovereignty. As Schaefer and Groves explain on National Review Online, 'the ICC and the use of universal jurisdiction are two facets of an increasingly prevalent and alarming trend of eroding national sovereignty by divorcing the vital link between the law and the people subject to it.'

Though its objective to hold war criminals accountable for their terrible crimes is a noble one, the ICC's unaccountable autonomy and broad jurisdiction invite politically motivated indictments, inefficiency and inflexibility. It is flawed 'notionally and operationally,' write Groves and Schaefer. The U.S. is right to be skeptical of any agreement that would bind us to such an institution under which foreign powers could trump even our own Constitution."

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