Columbia International Affairs Online: Course Packs and Syllabi

Human Rights and International Law


Human Rights and International Law: Creating the International Criminal Court

In 1998, the UN adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), with an eye towards replacing the ad hoc tribunals the currently address human rights violations during conflict with a more structured judicial system. Despite protests from many of its Allies, the United States has not ratified this treaty.

The readings in this coursepack examine the issues that have surfaced when establishing the ICC. The case of the United States case is specifically addressed with position papers for and against ratification of the treaty.


CIAO Case Study: International Criminal Accountability and the International Criminal Court
Dr. Ray Murphy
Columbia International Affairs Online, November 2004
This CIAO case study examines international legal norms, United States policy, and the ICC.

Human Rights and Comparative Foreign Policy: Foundations of Peace
David P. Forsythe, editor
United Nations University (2000)
This book examines the relationship between human rights policies and their effects on their foreign policy decisions.

Toward an International Criminal Court?
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Kenneth Roth, John Bolton and Ruth Wedgwood
The Council on Foreign Relations
Three transcribed speeches that address the United States position on the International Criminal Court including one in favor of the ICC, another opposing the ICC and a third supporting a US-led effort to improve the ICC.

A Dangerous Step Closer to an International Criminal Court
Jeremy Rabkin
American Enterprise Institute
Argues against ratifying the treaty, citing that it gives jurisdiction over U.S. military forces.

U.S. Opposition to the International Criminal Court: Unfounded Fears
Robert C. Johansen
Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
Views the treaty as a force for preventing widespread atrocities and discounts the belief that the ICC would become a tool for politically motivated prosecution.

International Criminal Court and the Question of Sovereignty
Atul Bharadwaj
Strategic Analysis, January&8211;March, 2003
This paper argues that the ICC challenges the exclusivity of sovereign states. ICC imposes certain restrictions and limits on state authority and competes with the state in the exercise of authority.