Going it alone? : an evaluation of American concerns about the international criminal court

Engelbrecht, Gysbert Adriaan (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an exciting new development in the international system. It is not without its detractors, however, amongst others the United States. The fact that the United States takes a strong stance against the ICC creates uncertainty in the international system. This uncertainty is linked to the role of the United States as the only remaining superpower in this system. The main concern of the United States about the ICC is that an American might be brought before the court in terms of politically motivated charges. To illustrate this concern, the United States offers five basic arguments. These five are condensed into three arguments that form the main body of this thesis. They are the questions related to the jurisdiction of the ICC, the role of the United Nations Security Council in the functioning of the ICC, and the influence that the United States constitution might have on the ICC. Close attention is also paid to the political implications of the stance taken by the United States, both in terms of the specific arguments, and in general. The different arguments are tested against certain criteria, which include the stipulations of the ICC Statute and other counter arguments. From these comparisons, certain evaluations can be made, from which conclusions are drawn. For various reasons, none of the arguments put forward have merit when tested against the stipulations of the ICC Statute. What this implies is that the United States does not have real evidence to back its main concern about the ICC. Even though the possibility exists that an American could be charged before the court, there are sufficient safeguards to protect such a person from actually appearing before the court. The very real political implication then becomes that the United States is undermining its position and relative power in the international system by taking such a unilateral st

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Internasionale Kriminele Hof (IKH) is 'n opwindende ontwikkeling in die internasionale sisteem. Dit is egter nie sonder opponente nie, wat onder andere die Verenigte State van Amerika insluit. Die feit dat Amerika so sterk standpunt teen die hof inneem, skep onsekerheid in die internasionale sisteem. Die onsekerheid hou verband met Amerika se rol as die enigste oorblywende supermoontheid binne die sisteem. Amerika se hoof besorgdheid met die IKH is dat 'n Amerikaner dalk in terme van polities-gemotiveerde aanklagte voor die hof gedaag sal word. Hierdie besorgdheid word geïllustreer deur vyf basiese argumente wat geopper word. Hierdie argumente word in drie spesifieke argumente wat die basis van die tesis vorm, gefokus. Die argumente is die vrae in terms van die jurisdiksie van die IKH, die rol van die Veiligheidsraad van die Verenigde Nasies in die funksionering van die IKH, en die invloed wat die Amerikaanse grondwet op die IKH het. Daar word ook gekyk na die politieke implikasies van die Amerikaanse standpunt, beide in terme van die spesifieke argumente en in die algemeen. Die verskillende argumente word teen sekere kriteria getoets, wat die stipulasies van die IKH Statuut en ander teenargumente behels. Vanaf hierdie vergelykings kan evaluerings gedoen word, waarvan daar gevolgtrekkings gemaak word. Vir verskeie redes het nie een van die spesifieke argumente meriete as dit teen die bepalings van die IKH Statuut getoets word nie. Dit impliseer dat Amerika nie werklik bewyse vir hul hoof besorgdheid met betrekking tot die IKH het nie. Selfs al is die moontlikheid daar dat 'n Amerikaner wel voor die hof gedaag kan word, is daar voldoende waarborge om so persoon teen 'n verskyning voor die hof te beskerm. Die werklike politieke implikasie is nou dat Amerika sy posisie en relatiewe mag in die internasionale sisteem met sy eensydige standpunt teen die IKH ondermyn. Hierdie punt kan ook verdere uitgebreide implikasies hê.

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