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Global Goals versus Bilateral Barriers? The International Criminal Court in the Context of US Relations with Germany and Japan

  • KERSTIN LUKNER (a1)

Abstract

This article deals with the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a point of contention in US relations with Germany and Japan. Both countries rank among America's closest allies, but – quite contrary to the US – they have also been supporting the establishment and operation of the ICC, although each to a different extent. The article analyzes the reasons for the three countries’ diverging attitudes and policies towards the establishment and operation of the Court, and contrasts Germany's and Japan's handling of the ICC issue vis-à-vis the US. It suggests that Berlin's idealistic position and full ICC support on the one hand, as well as Japan's cautious and pragmatic approach on the other, are both rooted not only in their individual evaluations of the ICC's institutional design, but also the varying degrees of their bi/multilateral orientation and the extent of their ‘dependence’ on US security commitments.

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2 However, the idea and history of war crime tribunals is much older. See Bass, Gary J., Stay in the Hands of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crime Tribunals (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000).

3 Cassese, Antonio, International Criminal Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 15.

4 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Preamble, http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/about/officialjournal/Rome_Statute_120704-EN.pdf (accessed 5 November 2008).

5 Two of these categories of crimes have already been dealt with in past international agreements. This holds true for genocide (Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948), and for war crimes (Geneva Conventions, 1949; First and Second Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, 1977). Besides, while genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes were specified in the Rome Statute, the crime of aggression has only recently been defined as a result of the first review conference on the Rome Statute in June 2010. See Kreß, Claus and von Holzendorff, Leonie, ‘The Kampala Compromise on the Crime of Aggression’, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 8 (5) (2010): pp. 1179–217.

6 Rome Statute, Preamble.

7 Commission on Governance, Global, Our Global Neighborhood: The Report of the Commission on Global Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

8 Nuscheler, Franz, ‘Global Governance, Development and Peace’, in Kennedy, Paul, Messner, Dirk, and Nuscheler, Franz (eds.), Global Trends and Global Governance (London: Pluto Press, 2002), pp. 156–83 (pp. 160–1).

9 Moreno-Ocampo, Luis, ‘The International Criminal Court: Seeking Global Justice’, Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 40 (1/2) (2008): pp. 215–25 (p. 216).

10 Leonard, Eric K., The Onset of Global Governance: International Relations Theory and the International Criminal Court (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), p. 4.

11 Zangl, Bernhard and Zürn, Michael, ‘Make Law, Not War: Internationale und transnationale Verrechtlichung als Bausteine für Global Governance’, in Zangl, Bernhard and Zürn, Michael (eds.), Verrechtlichung – Bausteine für Global Governance? (Bonn: Dietz, 2004), pp. 1245.

12 Maull, Hanns W., Katada, Saori N., and Inoguchi, Takashi, ‘German and Japanese Foreign Policies and Global Governance’, in Katada, Saori N., Maull, Hanns W., and Inoguchi, Takashi (eds.), Global Governance. Germany and Japan in the International System (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 17 (p. 1).

13 While US delegations usually take an active part in multilateral negotiations pertaining to the establishment of international institutions, Washington in several cases decided not to ratify the documents hammered out. This, for example, holds true for the Kyoto Protocol and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

14 Abbott, Kenneth W., Keohane, Robert, Moravcsik, Andrew, Slaughter, Anne-Marie, and Snidal, Duncan, ‘The Concept of Legalization’, International Organization, 54 (3) (2000): pp. 401–19.

15 Rome Statute, Article 120.

16 Deitelhoff, Nicole, ‘The Discursive Construction of Legal Norms and Institutions: The Interaction of Law and Politics in the Development of the International Criminal Court’, CLPE (Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy) Research Paper 32/2007, 3 (6) (2007): p. 7.

17 Sewall, Sarah B., Kaysen, Carl, and Scharf, Michael P., ‘The United States and the International Criminal Court: An Overview’, in Sewall, Sarah B. and Kaysen, Carl (eds.), The United States and the International Criminal Court. National Security and International Law (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), pp. 127 (p. 2).

18 Rome Statute, Article 17.

19 Rome Statute, Article 12, Paragraph 2 and Article 13 (a) and (c).

20 Leonard, The Onset of Global Governance, p. 4.

21 Stempel, Philipp, Der Internationale Strafgerichtshof – Vorbote eines Weltinnenrechts? Eine Studie zur Reichweite einer rule of law in der internationalen Politik, INEF-Report No. 78 (Duisburg: INEF, 2005).

22 For a more detailed account of the ICC's coming into being, see e.g. first chapter in Schabas, William A., An Introduction to the International Criminal Court, 3rd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

23 The other six objections were allocated to China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen.

24 Scheffer, David J., ‘The United States and the International Criminal Court’, The American Journal of International Law, 39 (12) (1999): pp. 1222.

25 Rome Statute, Article 13.

26 Rome Statute, Article 16.

27 Scheffer, ‘United States and the International Criminal Court’, p. 22.

28 Ibid. p. 14.

29 Sewall et al., ‘The United States and the International Criminal Court’, p. 3.

30 Rome Statute, Article 12, Paragraph 2a.

31 Sewall et al., ‘The United States and the International Criminal Court’, p. 3.

32 Scheffer, ‘United States and the International Criminal Court’, p. 18.

33 Christopher Rudolph, ‘The Design of International Legal Institutions: Explaining the ICC and the Atrocities Regime’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, USA, 28 August 2008, p. 25, www.allacademic.com/meta/p279005_index.html (accessed 4 September 2009)

34 Weller, Marc, ‘Undoing the Global Constitution: UN Security Council Action on the International Criminal Court’, International Affairs, 78 (4) (2002): pp. 693712 (p. 697).

35 Ralph, Jason, Defending the Society of States: Why America Opposes the International Criminal Court and Its Vision of World Society (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 119.

36 Rudolph, ‘Design of International Legal Institutions’, pp. 25–6.

37 Orentlicher, Diane F., ‘Unilateral Multilateralism: United States Policy Toward the International Criminal Court’, Cornell International Law Journal, 36 (3) (2004): pp. 415–33 (p. 416).

38 Crawford, James, ‘The Drafting of the Rome Statute’, in Sands, Philippe (ed.), From Nuremberg to The Hague: The Future of International Criminal Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 109–56 (p. 134).

39 Struett, Michael, ‘The Meaning of the International Criminal Court’, Peace Review: Special Issue on Law and War, 16 (3) (2004): pp. 317–21.

40 German Federal Foreign Office, ‘The International Criminal Court (ICC)’, http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/en/Aussenpolitik/InternatRecht/IStGh/hintergrund__ICC.html (accessed 2 December 2008).

41 Turns, David, ‘Aspects of National Implementation of the Rome Statute: The United Kingdom and Selected Other States’, in McGoldrick, Dominic, Rowe, Peter, and Donnelly, Eric (eds.), The Permanent International Criminal Court: Legal and Policy Issues (Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing, 2004), pp. 337–87 (p. 378).

42 Groenleer, Martijn and Rijks, David, ‘The European Union and the International Criminal Court: The Politics of International Criminal Justice’, in Jørgensen, Knud Erik (ed.), The European Union and International Organizations (London and New York: Routledge, 2009), pp. 167–87.

43 Economides, Spyros, ‘The International Criminal Court: Reforming the Politics of International Justice’, Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics, 38 (1) (2003): pp. 2951 (p. 45).

44 Kaul, Hans-Peter, ‘Germany: Methods and Techniques Used to Deal with Constitutional, Sovereignty and Criminal Law Issues’, in Lee, Roy S. (ed.), States’ Responses to Issues Arising from the ICC Statute: Constitutional, Sovereignty, Judicial Cooperation and Criminal Law (Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, 2005), pp. 6581 (p. 69).

45 Dominic McGoldrick, ‘The Legal and Political Significance of a Permanent International Criminal Court’, in McGoldrick, Rowe, and Donnelly (eds.), The Permanent International Criminal Court, pp. 453–78 (p. 461). (McGoldrick does not refer to Germany in his argument, though).

46 Luis Moreno-Ocampo has occupied this position since 2002, hence the personal pronoun ‘he’.

47 Kaul, Hans-Peter, ‘Durchbruch in Rom: Der Vertrag über den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof’, Vereinte Nationen, 4 (1998): pp. 125–30 (p. 126).

48 Kaul, ‘Germany: Methods and Techniques’, p. 70.

49 Kaul, ‘Germany: Methods and Techniques’, p. 71.

50 Scheffer, ‘United States and the International Criminal Court’, p. 18.

51 Turns, ‘Aspects of National Implementation of the Rome Statute’, p. 378.

52 For the text of the ‘Code of Crimes against International Law’, see http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_pdf/0,, 1109851,00.pdf (accessed 25 March 2010).

53 Pace, William, ‘Serious Progress Achieved at April ICC “PrepCom”’, The International Criminal Court Monitor, 1 (1996): p. 1.

54 Benedetti, Fanny and Washburn, John L., ‘Drafting the International Criminal Court: Two Years to Rome and an Afterword on the Rome Diplomatic Conference’, Global Governance, 5 (1) (1999): pp. 137 (online issue).

56 Meierhenrich, Jens and Ko, Keiko, ‘How do States Join the International Criminal Court? The Implementation of the Rome Statute in Japan’, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 7 (2) (2009): pp. 124 (p. 4).

57 Interview with Japanese delegation member, Yokosuka, 29 August 2008.

58 Owada now fills a position as judge on the International Court of Justice, which is also located in The Hague.

59 Kirsch, Philippe and Holmes, John T., ‘The Rome Conference on an International Criminal Court: The Negotiation Process’, The American Journal of International Law, 39 (12) (1999): pp. 212 (p. 3).

60 Hisashi Owada, ‘Statement made by H.E. Hisashi Owada, Head of the Delegation of Japan’, 15 June 1998, http://www.un.org/icc/speeches/615jpn.htm (accessed 8 September 2009).

61 Kirsch and Holmes, ‘The Rome Conference’, p. 9.

62 See e.g. Hisashi Owada and Kuniji Shibahara, ‘Rôma kaigi wo furikaete [Looking back at the Rome Conference]’, Jurisuto, No. 1146 (1999), pp. 4–28.

63 Neither Germany nor Japan utilized this article when joining the Court. Of the two permanent SC members that joined the ICC, GB and France, only the latter did.

64 Interview with Hisashi Owada (The Hague, 12 December 2007).

65 Owada, Statement.

66 Interview with Owada, The Hague, 12 December 2007.

67 Yasushi Masaki, ‘Kokusai keiji saibanjo he no nihon no kamei to kokunaihô seibi [Japan's accession to the International Criminal Court and the adjustment of its domestic law]’, Kokusai Mondai, No. 569 (4/2007): pp. 26–34 (p. 31). Explanation by Foreign Minister Tarô Aso, 166th Diet, Plenary Session, House of Representatives, Record of Proceedings, 22 March 2007.

68 For more detailed information, see e.g. Kanako Takayma, ‘Participation in the ICC and the National Criminal Law of Japan’, Japanese Yearbook of International Law, 51 (2008): pp. 384–408. See also e.g. Meierhenrich and Ko, ‘How do States Join’.

69 Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Okazaki, for example, stresses that Japan can send personnel to the ICC, once it becomes a member state. This would increase Japan's visibility at international organizations and help to have Japanese values reflected there. It would provide Tokyo with a better access to information and thus possibly with more influence. See Okazaki, Yasuyuki, ‘Kokusai keiji sainbanjo (ICC) kitei e no kamei to kongo ni mukete [Towards the membership in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the future]’, Hôritsu no Hiroba, 60 (9) (2007): pp. 853 (p. 50).

70 US Department of State, ‘American Service-Members Protection Act’, 30 July 2003, http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/othr/misc/23425.htm (accessed 30 March 2007).

71 Weller, ‘Undoing the Global Constitution’, p. 694.

72 SC resolution, S/RES/1422, July 22, 2002.

73 Schabas, William A., ‘United States Hostility to the International Criminal Court: It's all about the Security Council’, European Journal of International Law, 15 (4) (2004): pp. 701–20 (p. 719).

74 McGoldrick, ‘Legal and Political Significance’, p. 421.

75 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, Press Conference 16 July 2002, http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/2002/7/0716.html#1 (accessed 8 September 2009).

76 McGoldrick, ‘Legal and Political Significance’, p. 420.

77 The American Non-Governmental Organization Coalition for the International Criminal Court, ‘Chronology of US Opposition Related to the International Criminal Court’, http://www.amicc.org/docs/US%20Chronology.pdf (accessed 18 March 2011).

78 Ralph, Defending the Society of States, pp. 156–7.

79 US Department of State 2003, ASPA, sec. 2007.

80 Philip Shishkin, ‘Despite EU Deal, Germany Won't Exempt US From International Criminal Court’, Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2002.

81 Ralph, Defending the Society of States, p. 155 and p. 159.

82 Japan Policy and Politics, ‘Japan “not Considering” US demands on Criminal Court Waiver’, 26 August 2002, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0XPQ/is_/ai_90916869 (accessed 13 June 2006).

83 Coalition for the International Criminal Court, ‘Regional and Country Info, Asia and Pacific, Asia, Japan’, 30 April 2007, http://www.iccnow.org/?mod=country&iduct=86 (accessed 13 July 2007).

84 Groenleer and Rijks, ‘The European Union and the International Criminal Court’, p. 177.

85 The Economist, ‘Let the Children Live’, 27 January 2007, vol. 382(8513) (online issue).

86 For example, explanations by Justice Minister, Chieko Kôno, and Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Itsunori Onodera. 163rd Diet, Justice Committee, House of Representatives, Record of Proceedings, 28 October 2005.

87 Interview with a bureaucrat from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was involved in the accession process, 8 September 2008, Tokyo

88 Interview with the same bureaucrat.

89 Bartam S. Brown, ‘Unilateralism, Multilateralism, and the International Criminal Court’, in Steward Patrick and Shepard Forman (eds.), Multilateralism and US Foreign Policy (Boulder, CO and London: Lynne Rienner, 2002), pp. 323–44 (p. 330).

90 This term was used by Bush's Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Cf. Economist, ‘Let the Children Live’.

91 Maull et al., ‘German and Japanese Foreign Policies’, p. 5.

* The author would like to thank Alexandra Sakaki, Michael Strausz, and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. She would also like to thank the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for generously funding a field trip to Japan.

Global Goals versus Bilateral Barriers? The International Criminal Court in the Context of US Relations with Germany and Japan

  • KERSTIN LUKNER (a1)

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