Biden Announces Lifting of Trump Administration Sanctions on ICC Officials Why

President Biden announced Friday the termination of the national emergency related to the International Criminal Court that President Trump declared in an executive order last year and the revocation of that executive order.

On June 11 of last year, President Trump signed an executive order authorizing U.S. sanctions against ICC-related personnel involved in investigations into whether some U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The sanctions include a freeze on assets in the United States and a ban on entry. Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the court posed a politically motivated threat to U.S. sovereignty.

Last September, the United States announced sanctions against Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and Fakiso Mochochoko, director of the jurisdiction, complementary principles and cooperation division of the court’s Office of the Prosecutor.

The ICC, a permanent body based in The Hague, began operating in 2002 after a sufficient number of countries ratified the relevant treaties and is responsible for hearing cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The United States is not a member. The United States is concerned that the tribunal could be used to prosecute U.S. military personnel and officials for political motives.

In his notice, President Biden said the United States “continues to strongly oppose” the ICC’s claim that it has jurisdiction over “non-state parties,” as the United States and its allies do, without the consent of the United States and its allies or referral by the Security Council, and will “continue to vigorously protect” current and former U.S. personnel from any attempt to exercise such jurisdiction, but “the threat or imposition of sanctions against the Court, its personnel, and those who assist it is not an effective or appropriate strategy for addressing U.S. concerns about the International Criminal Court. “

Secretary of State Blinken also stressed in a statement that the United States remains strongly disagree with some of the actions taken by the tribunal. But he said Washington believes that “our concerns about these cases” can be “better addressed” through diplomacy rather than “imposing sanctions.

Since President Biden took office, the U.S. has rejoined the World Health Organization and the U.N. Human Rights Council, and returned to the Paris climate agreement.