International Criminal Court and Relevance of International Law

April 23, 2008

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In Rome, the United Nations General Assembly convened a five-week diplomatic conference in June 1998 “to finalize and adopt a convention on the establishment of an International Criminal Court.”

The following month, the so-called “Rome Statute” was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining. The U.S., Iraq, Israel and China were among those who abstained.

Today, we'll look back at what happened at the Rome Conference 10 years ago — and we'll discuss the present and future of the ICC and the U.S. role in international jurisprudence.

Later we'll talk with David Scheffer, Professor of Law at Northwestern University's School of Law. David negotiated for the U.S. at the Rome Conference.

But first, we'll talk to Cherif Bassiouni, Professor of Law and President of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University's College of Law. Cherif is also Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan.

DePaul's College of Law is hosting the Midwest Regional Conference on International Justice. The conference is subtitled, The International Criminal Court 10 years after the Rome Conference, this Friday, April 25th at the Harold Washington Library. The event is free and open to the public…

The event will feature Philippe Kirsch, the President of the ICC and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, ICC Prosecutor.

And there will also be a pre-conference event beginning tomorrow, Thursday, to familiarize students and others with the ICC and international criminal justice.

Presenters such as Amnesty International and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting will discuss the background of the Court's formation, its political impact in Africa, and the U.S. position on the ICC. And they'll also take questions.

And Jerome began with Cherif Bassiouni and asked him why he wanted to revisit the Rome Conference ten years later…