WASHINGTON, October 2, 2001 ( – The United Kingdom and Liechtenstein have ratified the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC), bringing the total number of ratifications to two thirds of the 60 needed to bring the Court into being. Meanwhile, President Bush has given his support to an amended version of the anti-ICC American Serviceman’s Protection Act.

As the Preparatory Commission for the Court continued its eighth session yesterday, the representatives of Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom said their ratifications would be officially deposited with the Secretary-General today and next week, respectively. In a plenary meeting last week, four other countries—Mexico, Peru, Poland and Switzerland—announced that they were in the final stages of ratification and hoped to officially deposit the instruments of ratification shortly. Once 60 countries have ratified the treaty the ICC will assume universal jurisdiction even over countries that have not signed on to the agreement. Explanatory material on the ICC released by the Canadian government during its hasty passage of ICC ratification stated: “It would not be a defence that an offence was committed in obedience to the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.”

In the United States, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Republican Jesse Helms introduced an amended version of an anti-ICC measure which is supported by the Bush Administration. On the Senate floor, Helms said the ICC “ought to be called the International Kangaroo Court.” Helms noted that the ICC “has the unbridled power to intimidate our military people and other citizens with bogus, politicized prosecutions. Similar creations of the United Nations have shown that this is inevitable.” Helms warned “Americans may not realize that the Rome Treaty can apply to Americans even without the U.S. ratifying the treaty.” He said, “This bewildering threat to America’s men and women in our armed forces must be stopped.”

Helms described the legislation as acting in the following ways: (1) It will prohibit cooperation with this kangaroo court, including use of taxpayer funding or sharing of classified information.  (2) It will restrict a U.S. role in peacekeeping missions unless the U.N. specifically exempts U.S. troops from prosecution by this international court.  (3) It blocks U.S. aid to allies unless they too sign accords to shield U.S. troops on their soil from being turned over to the ICC.  (4) It authorizes any necessary action to free U.S. soldiers improperly handed over to that Court.

Pro-life observers are concerned that even if the US passes its legislation, citizens of other countries will not be protected from prosecution and persecution by the ICC. The earlier version of the bill hinted at some protection for countries allied to the United States as it said, “The President is authorized to use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release from captivity of U.S. or Allied personnel detained or imprisoned against their will by or on behalf of the Court.”

Those who suggested that the ICC would constitute a one-world government were given support last week at the ICC Preparatory Committee as Jozias van Aartsen, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands addressed the committee. Aartsen unabashedly used the tragedy of the terrorist attacks to promote the ICC, going so far as to use language for an “international legal order”. Referring to the attacks he said, “We emerge, more convinced than ever of the need to strengthen the international legal order and the fight against universal crimes.” With the two main branches of government – the legislative and judicial – centering around laws – creating laws and enforcing laws respectively – the ICC, seen as an ‘international legal order’ with universal jurisdiction, would be the fruition of the ‘new world order’ dream of one-world government.

Gwen Landolt, vice-president of REAL Women of Canada has been a leading pro-family campaigner at the national and international level for many years. She appeared before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee during hearings on the ICC bill. She argued that no effective accountability structure exists for the court, thus making it highly susceptible to “politicization.” Furthermore, she said “there is a real risk that the ICC will be captured, not by governments, but by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others with narrow special interests.” She also said that the definitions of the crimes the court is supposed to address – genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – are “at best, breathtakingly expansive. They are so elastic that the ICC will enjoy a wide discretion in applying them. Clearly, this is not a court of limited jurisdiction.” Mrs. Landolt, a lawyer by trade, added that the court has also been “altered from a criminal court into a human rights tribunal.”

At the hearing, Mrs. Landolt objected to the risk posed by the use of “enforced pregnancy” as well as to the use of the term “gender”. “The western powers, again led by Canada,” she said, “objected to any definition that limited the word ‘gender’ to mere males and females.” A compromise definition, qualifying it to “the context of society” disturbs her. “It is understood that as a result of this definition, those who oppose homosexual/lesbian practices might well find themselves under indictment and prosecution by the ICC in the future.” In an interview with LifeSite last year Mrs. Landolt said, “The ICC is the instrument to promote a one world government and to implement one world government with an emphasis on abortion and feminism.”

See the UN announcement of the UK ratification:

See Helms’ release on the US anti-ICC measure:

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