At the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday, governments welcomed the historic establishment of the International Criminal Court — the first permanent international tribunal — but the US government was absent from the celebrations. Despite strong support for the Court from nearly all of its closest international allies, the US has been consistently hostile to this international body, partly because there will be no exemptions for US nationals in the court.
As of this July, the ICC will have permanent jurisdiction over the most serious breaches of international human rights law — crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, committed in both international and national conflicts. It was created because national court systems have often failed to provide justice to the victims of egregious crimes.
We are joined now by Rhonda Copeland from the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice, a group created to help mainstream gender concerns within the ICC.
- Rhonda Copeland, Legal Adviser to the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice and Director of the International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic at CUNY School of Law in New York City.