Project

The United States and the International Criminal Court

Overview

Launched in 1998, this study brought together legal, political, and military experts to examine the relationship of the proposed International Criminal Court (ICC) to US national security interests. Directed by CISS Co-chair Carl Kaysen (MIT), Sarah Sewall (Harvard University), and Michael Scharf (New England School of Law), the project produced an Academy Paper, as well as a full-length volume that has helped to frame ongoing debates about the U.S. position toward the ICC. Former President Jimmy Carter commented that the book “gives citizens and policy-makers the practical information they need to evaluate the International Criminal Court.”

As envisioned in a 1998 treaty, signed by over 100 nations, the ICC is designed to bring to justice individuals who commit genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The court is emblematic of emerging international legal trends that have significant implications for the United States’ ability to shape the future of international law and institutions. The project's book highlights the tension between a foreign policy based on strengthening collective norms and responses and one based primarily upon unilateral actions and the use of force. This project illuminates some of the dilemmas the United States faces as it seeks to maintain American leadership.

People

People

Project Leader
Staff Coordinator
Publications

Publications