21 Wis. Int'l L.J. 557 (2003)
Summer in Rome, Spring in the Hague, Winter in Washington - U.S. Policy towards the International Criminal Court

handle is hein.journals/wisint21 and id is 565 raw text is: SUMMER IN ROME, SPRING IN THE HAGUE,
WINTER IN WASHINGTON? U.S. POLICY
TOWARDS THE INTERNATIONAL
CRIMINAL COURT
LEILA NADYA SADAT*
I. PROLOGUE: THE EMPTY CHAIR
When the International Criminal Court Treaty entered into
force in the spring of 2002, the enthusiasm of governments, ordi-
nary citizens, NGO delegates, victims' groups and individual sur-
vivors all over the world was palpable. The extraordinary, almost
euphoric feeling of seeing this important human rights treaty
enter into force years, even decades, earlier than expected, could
be felt at the special ceremony of the United Nations held to
mark the occasion.! Alone among Western nations, the govern-
ment of the United States did not participate in the celebration.
Although the United States had signed the Statute on December
31, 2000,2 on April 27, 2002, Undersecretary of State for Arms
Control and International Security John Bolton sent a letter to
the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, stating that
the U.S. did not intend to become a party to the treaty and
therefore had no legal obligations arising from its signature.3
Indeed, following the election of George W. Bush as President in
Professor of Law and Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow, Washington University in St.
Louis. Many thanks to Thomas Hethe Clark and Jennifer Lin for their assistance.
The ceremony was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on
April 11th, 2002, when the requisite number of states parties (60) was achieved to
bring the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court into force. Barbara
Crossette, War Crimes Tribunal Becomes Reality, Without U.S. Role, N.Y. TIMES,
Apr. 12, 2002, at A3. Pursuant to article 126 of the Statute, the jurisdiction of the
Court entered into effect on July 1, 2002. Rome Statute of the International Crimi-
nal Court, U.N. Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment
of an International Criminal Court, July 17, 1998, Annex II, art. 126(1), U.N.
Doc. A/CONF.183/9 (1998) [hereinafter Rome Statute], available at http://www.
un.org/law/icc/index/statute/romefra.htm (last visited June 20, 2003).
2 William Jefferson Clinton, Statement on the Rome Treaty on the International
Criminal Court, 3 Pus. PAPERS 2816 (December 31, 2000), available at http://
www.state.gov/www/global/swci/001231_clintonicc.html (last visited June 11,
2003).
3 The text of the letter is as follows: Dear Mr. Secretary-General: This is to inform
you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a
party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising

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