THE United States, which incessantly boasts that it is the world guardian of the “rules-based international order,” passed a law in August 2002 warning the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it would invade its headquarters at The Hague or any of its facilities anywhere in order to forcibly free any American citizen the court arrests and detains.
Because of this, the law, while officially known as the American Service Members’ Protection Act, is colloquially called the “Hague Invasion Act.” The law’s provisions practically threaten to outlaw the ICC if it were to investigate any American. The Act has been codified as Subchapter II of Chapter 81 of Title 22, United States Code, making it one of the general laws of the US.
Among the many provisions of the law are its prohibition on the extradition of any American from the US or from any other country to the ICC; the banning of ICC officials from conducting investigations in the US; and the barring of any government agency, including the courts, from cooperating with the ICC.
The US claimed that its main reason for hostility toward the ICC is that the Rome Statute violates its Constitution, which provides that crimes committed on American soil can be tried only by US courts. The US also claimed that the ICC cannot prosecute members of its armed forces as well as its high officials for military acts authorized by the US Congress or by the president.
Three months before the invade-the-Hague law was passed, President George W. Bush’s administration formally informed the United Nation secretary-general that it was rejecting the Rome Statute and the ICC.(more…)