28 November 2009

Speculation That The Obama Administration Will Allow American Soldiers To Be Tried Before The ICC For War Crimes

WSJ: Prosecuting American 'War Crimes'
The International Criminal Court claims jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "great regret" in August that the U.S. is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This has fueled speculation that the Obama administration may reverse another Bush policy and sign up for what could lead to the trial of Americans for war crimes in The Hague.

The ICC's chief prosecutor, though, has no intention of waiting for Washington to submit to the court's authority. Luis Moreno Ocampo says he already has jurisdiction—at least with respect to Afghanistan.

Because Kabul in 2003 ratified the Rome Statute—the ICC's founding treaty—all soldiers on Afghan territory, even those from nontreaty countries, fall under the ICC's oversight, Mr. Ocampo told me.

And the chief prosecutor says he is already conducting a "preliminary examination" into whether NATO troops, including American soldiers, fighting the Taliban may have to be put in the dock.

No comments: