Each year, the Day of International Criminal Justice, or International Justice Day, is marked on July 17th.
This year it is all the more important to promote the importance of international justice in the light of US President Donald Trump’s recent actions to target individuals working on behalf of or cooperating with investigations of U.S. nationals by the International Criminal Court.
The Executive Order President Trump signed allows the Secretary of State (in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General) to “block property and interests in property” held in the U.S. by persons working on behalf of or in collaboration with the ICC.
The ICC has begun investigations of situations in Afghanistan that include accusations of mistreatment of Afghan detainees by U.S. service personnel. U.S. officials have also criticized the ICC’s investigation of alleged crimes committed in Palestine by Israeli military personnel.
Canada has been a strong supporter of the ICC for many years. Canadian officials have addressed previous threats by the U.S. government to take action targeting Court personnel or those collaborating with the Court.
WFMC Executive Director Fergus Watt had a recent opinion piece published in The Hill Times on the same topic.
In the article, “U.S. attacks on ICC require a Canadian response,” Watt writes, “While American officials claim that any actions taken against their service personnel constitute a violation of U.S. sovereignty, the Rome Statute is clear: the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territory of states parties or by its nationals. Afghanistan became a state party to the Rome Statute in 2003.”
The full article is available on The Hill Times website (behind a paywall).
What you can do
Write to Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne and ask that he reiterate Canada’s support for the Court in the face of this unwarranted U.S. Executive Order.