International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Hillary Clinton and the ICC

19th International AIDS Conference Convenes In Washington

Hillary Clinton, after years of speculation, officially launched her campaign for President of the United States earlier this week. While this announcement hardly comes as a surprise to many, transitional justice scholars have wondered what a Clinton Presidency would mean for the relationship between the ICC and the US.

The relationship between the United States and ICC has improved over the course of the Obama administration, who supported the referral of Libya and Syria to the ICC. The US State department also added individuals indicted by the court to the Rewards for Justice Program, while playing a role in the transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC. On the more negative side, the US has still supported full immunity for soldiers to the ICC and the prohibition of the ICC from investigation of non-member states.

It’s hard to believe that a Clinton administration would have a much different relationship with the ICC, given her mixed opinions on the court. Originally, she supported full immunity for US citizens during the Rome Statue negotiations. As a New York Senator, she voted for the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, which authorized the President to use all force necessary to repatriate American citizens brought before the ICC.

In the late 2000s; however, her attitudes seemed to shift. As Secretary of State, she stated that:

This is a great regret that we are not a signatory. I think we could have worked out some of the challenges that are raised concerning our membership. But that has not yet come to pass.

This likely came in to shifting attitudes in the US, where it was now “uncool” to speak against the ICC, not from a change of heart from Clinton. This makes it hard for me to believe that the US would become a signing member or improve its’ relationship with the ICC with Hillary Clinton as President.

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