NEW YORK — The Biden administration today repealed sanctions against the International Criminal Court.
The sanctions, levied against Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other court officials, were issued by President Trump last year following the court’s announcement of an investigation into potential war crimes committed by US military forces in Afghanistan.
Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement:
“The Biden administration did the right thing today by ending this reckless assault on a critical and independent judicial institution. Former President Trump’s sanctions were issued to help the US and its close allies evade accountability for their own human rights abuses, but their impact went much further by targeting court officials and their urgent work.
“Repeal is a start, but if the Biden administration wishes to be a true champion of human rights and the rule of law, it must fundamentally shift the US relationship with the court. This must include a genuine effort to ratify the court’s Rome Statute to demonstrate that the US commitment to justice is not merely rhetorical.
“For too long, the US approach to the court has been hypocritical, cementing a belief that it is beyond reproach and above the law. It’s time for the US to take its own human rights obligations seriously and submit itself to the international institutions they champion, thus beginning a robust, healthy engagement with this vital institution.”