On September 2, 2020, the ICC Prosecutor and a senior staff member were designated by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control as “specially designated nationals.” In response, ABA President Patricia Lee Refo issued a statement again condemning the use of punitive economic and travel sanctions against ICC personnel, urging nations to protect the ICC’s independence and urging the US administration to reverse the decision immediately.
Noting the potentially “severe consequences not only for ICC officials and staff, but also for the diverse groups of victims and legal professionals who contribute to the court’s work,” President Refo said that “sanctioning legal professionals for their investigating and prosecuting allegations of atrocity crimes on behalf of an independent judicial institution is an act of intimidation and attack on the rule of law.”
President Refo’s statement follows statements by previous ABA Presidents Bob Carlson and Judy Perry Martinez urging the United States to reverse previously imposed visa restrictions on ICC personnel and Executive Order 13928 (which authorized the sanctions imposed on September 2) respectively.
Read the ABA’s full statement here.
Part of the Atrocity Crimes Initiative, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Project is an independent initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights and Criminal Justice Section that advances international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. For more information about the ICC Project, including ABA policy related to the ICC, visit its website.