this product is unavailable for purchase using a firm account, please log in with a personal account to make this purchase.

US doubts over ICC unfounded: Sir Ninian


Cite as: (2002) 76(11) LIJ, p.17

Former Governor-General and Justice of the High Court Sir Ninian Stephen has cast doubts on the validity of concerns held by the US about the International Criminal Court (ICC). Speaking at the Australian Red Cross/President’s Luncheon on 3 October, Sir Ninian said the US’ concerns about its armed forces serving overseas being prosecuted by the ICC were unfounded.

Sir Ninian said there was no doubt the US was at risk of prosecution by the ICC based on the large number of soldiers it had conducting missions overseas. However, safeguards meant fear of a glut of prosecutions against the US was unlikely.

Sir Ninian said one of the safeguards meant the ICC could only investigate and prosecute cases in which the state was either unable or unwilling to prosecute the case. Yet, despite this, the US has found reasons not to ratify the statute.

“It views seriously the spectre of, for example, a biased prosecutor maliciously instituting such proceedings,” he said. “Hence, no doubt its refusal to become a party to the Rome Treaty (establishing the ICC) and its present recourse to international agreements under Article 98 exempting its forces from possible proceedings before the ICC.

“I, personally, can only regret the absence of the United States from the nations who support the ICC and certainly doubt the validity of the concerns it has expressed.”

Despite expressing concerns about the ICC, Australia eventually ratified the statute in July this year, becoming the 75th nation to do so.

As well as his contribution in Australia, Sir Ninian has served as a judge of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, chaired the United Nations Expert Group on Cambodia and was recently appointed a member of the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee.


Leave message

 Security code
LIV Social