Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Jamie Frueh

Degree Award Date

Spring 2005


International Criminal Court, International Law, United States, state sovereignty


International Law | Jurisdiction | Law


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a vital instrument of international law. While the International Criminal Court is a fairly new international organization, its creation and existence is an example of the international community's willingness and readiness to have a common set of rules, norms, principles and laws, which all nation-states would agree to follow. While the creation of the ICC is a giant leap in the development of international law, the United States neither approves of nor has membership in the court. In fact, the United States stands vehemently opposed to the Court as a violation of state sovereignty. Regardless of the opposition by the United States, the ICC is a key factor in the development and preservation of international law. By not supporting international institutions like the International Criminal Court, the development of international law is affected.

The purpose of this project is to wholly examine the ICC, explaining the history of the court, the process and jurisdiction, the role, and the purpose for which it was established and to provide an analysis as to what affect on international law the Court could have given U.S. membership. In addition to understanding the basic principles and history of the International Criminal Court, this essay focuses on and examines the complex relationship that the International Criminal Court has with the United States, the policy of the United States toward the ICC, and offers suggestions as what the U.S. relationship should be with the Court.