The American Bar Association’s International Criminal Court Project (ABA’s ICC Project) implements longstanding ABA policies on international criminal justice. The ABA was amongst the voices that called for establishment of a permanent international tribunal by multilateral treaty – what later became the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) – and did so starting in 1978. The ABA participated in the negotiations of the Rome Statute as an observer, advocated for the treaty’s adoption, and urged the United States to become a State Party. Most recently, the ABA urged the US government to forge greater support for, and engagement with, the ICC.
With nearly 400,000 members worldwide and a respected voice among diverse stakeholders, the ABA is well-positioned to raise awareness in the US about the crucial mandate of the ICC to investigate and prosecute the international atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and to support the Court’s legal activities. The ABA’s ICC Project provides such support through:
Advocacy and Education
- Engaging with the American people, legal profession, and policymakers on the ICC and its vital role in helping protect human rights, establish the rule of law globally, and foster durable peace, thereby engendering broad-based familiarity with the ICC and enhancing US-ICC relations.
- Convening high-level briefings on the ICC before the US legislative and executive branches, offering ICC education courses for American lawyers, providing assistance to ABA members advocating for greater US support for the ICC’s mandate, and establishing dialogs between US, ICC, and other key stakeholders.
- Through the ABA-ICC Project website, providing innovative and interactive content that educates website visitors on the ICC and its jurisdiction, judicial process, constituent organs, State Parties, and US-ICC relations. In collaboration with Stanford Law School, the website also features International Criminal Justice Today, an online periodical with IPSOS market research polling data and up-to-date developments in the field and includes Arguendo, a regular roundtable forum where distinguished experts from different fields discuss and debate the most pressing international criminal justice issues.
Practical Legal Assistance
- When requested by the ICC to help augment internal efforts, organizing practitioner engagements on proven practices and methodologies, forums for exchanges of legal expertise between ICC judges and lawyers and their international counterparts, and continuing legal education initiatives.
The ABA is a member of the International Criminal Justice Consortium, an independent and non-partisan alliance of specialized and diverse organizations, representing a broad range of regions and legal traditions, which formed with the purpose to help support the ICC and national jurisdictions with their international criminal justice mandate and do so through capacity-building activities.
In collaboration with the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law, developing the world’s only online repository of proven practices in international criminal justice. The repository will be an indispensable resource for international tribunal practitioners as well as national practitioners undertaking complementarity proceedings.