Washington Urged to Seek “Positive Engagement” With ICC
by Jim Lobe
27 Mar 09 | IPS
A bipartisan, blue-ribbon task force is urging the United States to formally announce a policy of “positive engagement” with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and send an observer to its 2010 Review Conference.
In a report released here Friday, the task force, which was sponsored by the American Society of International Law (ASIL), also called for Congress to review a controversial 2002 law and repeal or amend provisions that make cooperation with the ICC in its investigation and prosecution of cases more difficult.
While it did not recommend that the U.S. join the ICC in the immediate future, the group, which was co-chaired by former Deputy Secretary of Defence, William Taft, and a federal appellate court judge who served on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Judge Patricia Wald, urged that the administration of President Barack Obama consider joining after the Review Conference.
“We hope unanimously that both the administration and the Congress will see cooperation with the court will be in the best interests of the United States,” said Mickey Edwards, a former conservative Republican congressman, who participated in the task force.
The 70-page report, which was adopted unanimously by task force members, was released as the Obama administration is conducting a high-level review of its policy toward the ICC, which recently made the headlines when it issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes allegedly committed in connection with his government’s counter-insurgency campaign in Darfur. >>>