The International Criminal Court: An American View

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Ruth Wedgwood

Ruth Wedgwood

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Yale University - Law School


The international community has been chastened by the recent record of brutal civil wars. Violation of humanitarian standards has become a tactic of war. The attempt to strengthen enforcement of the law of war through a permanent international criminal court is thus a signal event. The negotiations conducted in Rome in 1998 did not solve all the difficulties that attend a permanent court. These include the problem of amnesties in democratic transitions, the necessary role of the Security Council in UN security architecture, the conflict between broad jurisdiction and developing the law, the role of consent as a treaty principle and third party jurisdiction, the handling of treaty amendments, and the inclusion of 'aggression' as a crime with no agreement on its definition. The necessary role of the United States in providing effective enforcement of ICC judgments warrants continued negotiation to overcome these differences.

Suggested Citation

Wedgwood, Ruth, The International Criminal Court: An American View. European Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, pp. 93-107, 1999, Available at SSRN:

Ruth Wedgwood (Contact Author)

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University ( email )

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