Several members of the US Congress have introduced resolutions and bills related to the ICC and the Court's investigations and prosecutions. Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle have demonstrated increasing acceptance of the ICC as an international body in the global fight against impunity.


Indeed, US-ICC relations have evolved over the past decade. In the Court's early days, Congress passed anti-ICC legislation, including the American Servicemembers' Protection Act (ASPA) and the Nethercutt Amendment, which curtailed the extent to which the US could cooperate with the ICC. By 2008, Congress had repealed the sanctions provisions of ASPA and allowed the Nethercutt provision to expire without renewal.

Shift in Congress' Attitude towards the ICC

The US Congress no longer treats the ICC with a sense of benign neglect. Many members of Congress have indicated their acceptance of criminal trials at the ICC. Congress has passed legislation that supports the work of the Court, such as legislation offering rewards for up to $5 million for persons facilitating the arrest of person accused by international courts and tribunals. Congress recognizes the role of the ICC in conflict situations of concern to Americans. The movement in Congress toward a more accepting approach to the ICC is crucially important to building a cooperative and enduring relationship between the US and the ICC.

Zach Josephson Unsplash


In March of 2016, the 114th Congress passed a bill in the House condemning Syrian President al-Assad's actions against his civilian population and advocating for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal

This bill shows a strong bipartisan commitment among American legislators to defending basic human rights and condemning abuses of power and force against civilians. 


The majority of recent legislation regarding the ICC  has been in relation to the Prosecutor's preliminary examination the situation in Israel and Palestine.



115th Congress (2017-18):


H.R. 109

H.R. 769



-Representative Tammy Baldwin (Wis)

I and many others around the world are shocked and dismayed by the unilateral, confrontational approach that this administration has taken in the world arena. We must recognize the consequences in the world community of our rejection of Kyoto, of the International Criminal Court, of the treaty to ban landmines, and our own withdrawal from the ABM treaty. We must be mindful about how our criticisms of the U.N. and NATO are heard throughout the world community.


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