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6 Hum. Rts. Brief 1 (1998-1999)

handle is hein.journals/huribri6 and id is 1 raw text is: .HUMAN RI6HTS
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

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WKashington College  of Law * American Uni ve-rsity,
The Rome Treaty for an International Criminal
Court: A Framework of International justice for
Future Generations
byJeny Fowler*

Late in the evening of July 17,
1998, a treaty to create a perma-
nent International Criminal
Court (ICC) came up for a final vote
before a UN Diplomatic Conference in
Rome, that had begun onJune 15, 1998.
By a vote of 120-7, with 21 abstentions,
the participants approved the treaty,
which will create a tribunal for the most
serious crimes of international concern:
genocide, crimes against humanity, and
war crimes. Amidst cheers and hugs,
there was a widespread feeling that
something historic just occurred. For
U.S. human rights activists, however,
the joy at this important step towards
ending impunity was leavened by dis-
appointment that the United States
joined countries such as China and Iraq
in opposing the treaty.
The treaty will not come into force
until 60 countries ratify it, a process
that will take a number of years. Even
after the Court is established, jurisdic-
tional constraints described below will
limit its effectiveness in its early years.
Nonetheless, over time the Court offers
real promise for ending the cycle of
impunity for the worst human rights
atrocities and increasing deterrence of
these horrible crimes. Coming at the
end of a century that witnessed the
Holocaust, and with the images of eth-
nic cleansing in Bosnia and genocide in
See page 7 for latest
War Crimes Tribunal
Update

Rwanda still fresh, the importance to
humanity of this promise is immense.
Structure of the Court
The Court will be a permanent tri-
bunal with headquarters in The Hague
(Article 3(1)). It will deal only with
crimes committed after the Rome Treaty
comes into force (Article 24). Because
the Court will be established pursuant to
a multilateral treaty, it will not be an
organ of the United Nations, although
the two organizations will have formal
relations (Article 2). Moreover, the Secu-
rity Council will have a significant role
in the Court's operation by virtue of its
authority to initiate or defer investiga-
tions (Article 13(b); Article 16).
Initially, the Court will consist of 18
judges, elected to nonrenewable nine
year terms by a two-thirds majority vote
of the Assembly of States Parties, which
will be composed of nations that have
ratified the treaty (Article 36(6), (9)).
At least nine of the judges must have
established competence in criminal law
and procedure, while at least five must
have established competence in rele-
vant areas of international law, such as
international humanitarian law and the
law of human rights (Article 36(5)). In
selecting judges, the States Parties must
take into account the need for repre-
sentation of the principal legal systems
of the world, equitable geographic rep-
resentation, and a fair representation of
male and female judges (Article 36(8)).
The judges will be distributed among
three divisions: pre-trial, trial, and
appeals (Article 39).
continued on page 4

Human Rights in Sudan
in the Wake of the New
Constitution
by Ghazi Suleiman and
Curtis Francis Doebbler*
Prelude to Contemporary Times
TTarious international organiza-
tions have accused the Sudanese
government of repeatedly
breaching basic human rights. Claims
against Sudan include violations of the
rights to life, health care, free move-
ment, and the enjoyment of one's prop-
erty, as well as prohibitions against
torture and slavery. These allegations
have appeared consistently since 1990,
one year after the current government
came to power.
The current Sudanese government
complains that the international human
rights community misunderstands and
targets it as a result of its preference for
Islamic laws. Indeed, many allegations of
human rights abuses first arose when
former presidentJafer Numeri attempted
continued on next page

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