U.S. – International Criminal Court [Visa Restrictions]

U.S. – International Criminal Court

Remarks to the Press [referencing the International Criminal Court]
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Press Briefing Room, Washington, DC
March 15, 2019
[Excerpt]
… Since 1998, the United States has declined to join the ICC because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers and the threat it poses to American national sovereignty. We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation. We feared that the court could eventually pursue politically motivated prosecutions of Americans, and our fears were warranted.

November of 2017, the ICC prosecutor requested approval to initiate investigation into, quote, “the situation in Afghanistan,” end of quote. That could illegitimately target American personnel for prosecutions and sentencing. In September of 2018, the Trump administration warned the ICC that if it tried to pursue an investigation of Americans there would be consequences. I understand that the prosecutor’s request for an investigation remains pending.

Thus today, persistent to existing legal authority to post visa restrictions on any alien, quote, “whose entry or proposed activities in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences,” end of quote, I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel. This includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent. Implementation of this policy has already begun. Under U.S. law, individual visa records are confidential, so I will not provide details as to who has been affected and who will be affected.

But you should know if you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States. The United States will implement these measures consistent with applicable law, including our obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement. These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts. We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course…

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Statement by the President of the Assembly, O-Gon Kwon, reiterating strong support for the ICC
Press Release : 15 March 2019
In relation to the statement made today by the United States Secretary of State regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC), I would like to reiterate that the Court has the strong support of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute.

The Assembly is comprised of over 120 States Parties. At its seventeenth session in December 2018, the States Parties reconfirmed their unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution, and reiterated their commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any threats against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it. This unwavering support continues today.

The Assembly also renewed its resolve to stand united against impunity. The International Criminal Court is an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

The Court is non-political and acts strictly within the legal framework of the Rome Statute, its founding treaty. One of the cornerstones of the Rome Statute system is that it recognizes the primary jurisdiction of States to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes. The jurisdiction of the Court is complementary to domestic jurisdictions.

The Assembly of States Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the ICC. It is comprised of representatives of States that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute. President Kwon was elected President of the Assembly for a three year mandate in December 2017.