Does the U.S. Have An Exemption from the ICC’s Jurisdiction for Actions in Libya?
Expect to hear more of this in the next few days from the anti-Obama progressive left.
NATO commanders who authorized the Libya bombing campaign should be “held accountable” to international law and hauled before the world court for civilian deaths, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.
“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international law, but they are not exempt from international law,” Kucinich said in a statement released by his office. “If members of the Qadhafi regime are to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise, we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism.”
Kucinich is not to be taken seriously about any matter and I deeply hope he is re-districted into political oblivion soon, but he does raise an interesting legal question. NATO commanders from Europe and Canada are already subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction. But what about any U.S. commanders who might have participated? Well, maybe I missed all of this discussion when I was in China, but I think they have an exemption from the ICC that was built into the UN Sec. Council Resolution 1970.
6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State;
It’s a confusing paragraph, but it sounds like it says any state not party to the Rome Statute, but which has acted pursuant to the Security Council’s authorization in Libya, will have exclusive jurisdiction over its own nationals for acts or omissions in Libya. Hmm…I wonder what State that is not a party to the ICC was deeply involved (even if from behind) in the Libya intervention? Very clever, those U.S. State Department lawyers, especially because they were at the same time arguing that the U.S. is not actually engaged in hostilities in Libya. And nice job laying down a precedent for any future UNSC authorized actions. President Romney/Perry/Palin/Paul/Generic Republican will be very appreciative, I’m sure.