AMICC believes strongly in the power of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to promote fundamental human rights and the foundational American principles of liberty and justice for all people worldwide. It is our firm belief that full American participation in the ICC and subsequent ratification of the Rome Statute will both enhance the aims of the court and help bring to fruition the vision of our United States. We take pride in the historic role of the US in promoting the development of international criminal law.
AMICC operates as the cornerstone for a coalition of non-profit member organizations and local alliances who are similarly dedicated to American participation in the ICC. We share in common the conviction that perpetrators of atrocities must be held accountable by the international community and that victims of these terrible crimes deserve justice. Through our advocacy and educational work, AMICC seeks to build upon and mobilize the existing American public support for the Court.
AMICC was founded in 2001 by John L. Washburn, a former US diplomat and United Nations official, with lifelong experience in international and political affairs. A Harvard Law graduate and a member of the D.C Bar, Washburn's long career in law, public service and diplomacy led him eventually to found AMICC to help strengthen the foundations of the movement for international justice here in the United States.
Washburn was present at the signing of the Rome Statute in 1998, and in 2010 at the Kampala Conference. Since that time, AMICC has attended all of the official yearly meetings for the ICC's Assembly of State Parties, and has pioneered and facilitated American NGO participation in the ICC.
AMICC members have concluded that the best way to achieve their goal is to work together as a coalition to combine their diverse membership, resources, and experience in a nationwide campaign. This allows for the coordination of efforts and the pooling of expertise and resources. The diversity of AMICC's membership organizations reflects the diverse interests the Court addresses. Participation as an AMICC member does not require a financial contribution, but is instead based on a collective dedication to the Coalition's campaign for full United States participation in the ICC.
The Coalition has both national and local activities; it works to influence national policy and encourages grassroots activity in support of the Court as well. Members facilitate the formation of local alliances made up of interested individuals who support the participation of the US in the International Criminal Court. These groups combine their diverse constituencies to create local public awareness of and support for the importance of US cooperation in a strong ICC. These include bar associations, women's groups, human rights organizations, religious organizations, veterans' groups, students, young adults and others.
Initiatives that local alliances may promote include:
Education of the public and members of local government on matters of international justice through the organization of public discussions, the distribution of fliers, demonstrations, and briefings to members of local organizations;
Educational campaigns in schools and community centers to spread awareness for and counter misinformation about the Court;
Polling of local districts to gauge public opinion and levels of support for the ICC
Work with local congressional and state legislative offices;
Promotion of regular media coverage of developments related to the Court and of the benefits of United States' participation; and
Organization of academic seminars and conferences in collaboration with law schools and university departments of international relations with leading law experts, state legislators, journalists, and internationally recognized experts.
These locally based activities complement the work of the Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC) in monitoring congressional and executive branch action on the Court, and familiarizing members of Congress and the Administration with the ICC. AMICC also collaborates in international efforts to address reasonable US concerns about the development of the Court, such as due process, adequate resources, the election of ICC officials and effective oversight.
We actively collaborate with The International NGO Coalition for the ICC (CICC),to whom AMICC is a domestic counterpart. AMICC supports and assists members in developing their individual programs on the ICC and their national campaign for the Court. AMICC gives presentations on the ICC upon request all over the country.
AMICC members will continue this strategy, with adjustments to account for the rapid development of the Court, until the United States has fully joined the International Criminal Court.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first new major international institution of the 21st Century. It holds individuals accountable for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It was formed as a universal response to past and present atrocities. Its creation is the culmination of fifty years of international efforts through the United Nations to create a permanent international judicial institution to try heinous crimes that are condemned by all governments, religions, cultures and peoples.
AMICC is a coalition of non-governmental organizations committed to achieving through education, information, promotion and an heightened public opinion, full United States support for the International Criminal Court and the earliest possible US ratification of the Court's Rome Statute. AMICC members believe that strong participation by the US in the ICC is essential to the future of the Court as an effective institution. They take pride in the historic role of the US in promoting the development of international criminal law. They emphasize that the ICC expresses and implements values traditionally championed by the United States, including international justice and the rule of law.
The United States was a major pioneer of international courts from Nuremberg to the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and in negotiations for the ICC made significant contributions to its founding documents.
Countries worldwide, including the closest friends of the United States, are overwhelmingly committed to the Court as a historic achievement in the long struggle against impunity for atrocities. As a result, the Rome Statute for the ICC came into force on July 1, 2002, less than four years after its adoption. It has now been ratified by over 124 countries. The United States, under President Obama's administration, promoted its interests by participating in the work of the Assembly of States Parties as the Court's representative body, and cooperates with the ICC. We are still unsure of what a Trump presidency will mean for the US's relationship with the Court, but remain hopeful and even more motivated in our advocacy efforts. A strong and sustained US relationship with the Court will be essential to achieving the understanding and familiarity which earliest possible American ratification of the Statute requires. AMICC has been convened to ensure support for that relationship with the Court by the American people and the US government's commitment to it.
AMICC has received funding from both institutional and individual grants including:
American Bar Association Section of International Law
American Jewish Committee/Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
The Connect U.S. Fund
United Nations Association of the USA
Van Evera Family Foundation
AMICC is a program of the Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights through which it enjoys 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.