US supports international justice

30 March 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

The United States is lending increasing support to international tribunals, including the International Crimes Tribunal established by Bangladesh. While visiting courts in Europe, the US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues, Stephen Rapp, stopped off in The Hague and spoke to IJT.

As Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues, do you work in relation to the ICC even though the US has not ratified the Rome Statute?

That’s correct – we made that decision in this administration, to take up the role of observer in meetings of the ICC Assembly of States Parties and at the Review Conference in Kampala. As we announced at these meetings, beginning in 2009, the US government is supporting the ICC in all the cases where it has issued arrest warrants. We have been meeting with the ICC Prosecutor and Registrar and are working to furnish the greatest possible assistance that is permitted under our law for ICC investigations and prosecutions. This can include information sharing and help with witness protection and witness relocation. Also, we are providing diplomatic and political support for the arrest and transfer to the The Hague of all ICC fugitives. Basically we have made the determination that all these cases are appropriate and cry out for justice – and in the absence of genuine proceedings at the national level --they require effective international justice.

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