The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (which created the International Criminal Court) held a review conference in Kamapala, Uganda in early June 2010, including a week of negotiations resulting in the adoption of a definition of the crime of aggression.
The Bush Administration "unsigned" the Clinton Administration's last-minute signing of the Statute and severely limited its contacts with the ICC. The Obama Administration, as part of its exploration of support for the ICC, sent a 30-member delegation to Kampala.
The U.S. delegation's plea for rejection of the definition of the crime of aggression presented to the Review Conference was unsuccessful. Instead, the adoption of a complex set of understandings and amendments regarding the implementation of the definition, including one that made it clear that in the absence of a U.N. Security Council finding of an act of aggression neither a non-State Party nor its nationals could be charged with the crime, permitted the U.S. delegation to join the adoption of the definition by consensus.
Should the U.S. re-sign the Statute? Accede to the Statute? Continue its current status as a non-party, but increase its cooperation with the ICC? On the other hand, does the action taken (or not taken) at Kampala provide additional support for those who oppose accession and cooperation?
- Mr. Richard Dicker, Director, International Justice Division, Human Rights Watch
- Hon. Brian Hook, Partner, Latitude, LLC and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for International Organizations
- Prof. Jeremy A. Rabkin, George Mason University School of Law
- Prof. Michael P. Scharf, John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Moderator: Hon. Edwin D. Williamson, Senior Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and former Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State
National Press Club