Secretary of State Pompeo’s announcement today that the US is imposing sanctions on officers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an appalling new milestone in the administration’s rogue behavior on the world stage.
This is the latest sign that Pompeo and President Trump have contempt for the rule of law and for rules-based international institutions. Not satisfied with merely defaming and undermining the institutions tasked with enforcing key international human rights laws, the administration has now turned to intimidating and penalizing their personnel. Regardless of opinions or disagreements on any particular matter before the ICC, it’s clear that sanctioning its personnel is not the act of a government interested in justice and due process, but of would-be autocrats who fear and despise those very things.
In June of this year, J Street joined over 60 advocacy organizations – including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Jewish World Service, the Union for Reform Judaism and many more – in signing a letter opposing the administration’s threat to impose sanctions of this kind against ICC officials. As that letter stated:
“It is unacceptable that the United States would target the judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals of a court that more than 120 countries have joined – including U.S. allies in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region – using tools that are designed to stigmatize war criminals and disrupt terrorist networks.”
We call on lawmakers to denounce this outrageous move, which is disastrous both for the United States’ international credibility and influence, and for the cause of democratic values and the rule of law around the world.