Cherie Booth, a leading human rights attorney and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife, criticized the Bush administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Booth said that the administration’s concerns about the International Criminal Court are “not well founded,” reports the Washington Post.
According to the Washington Post, speaking at a panel at Georgetown University on human rights and international law, Booth stated that Britain is a strong supporter of the ICC and that “the absence of the United States means we all stand to lose.” Regarding the administration’s concern that US military on peacekeeping missions would be subjected to politically motivated prosecution, she argued that she did not understand why the US would not allow prosecution of its own nationals accused of war crimes overseas, reports the Independent.
The ICC has widespread support in the US from groups such as the Feminist Majority because it identifies gender crimes and the crime of apartheid as crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which created the court, presents clear language that defines rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity as gender crimes. 132 countries have signed onto the treaty establishing the ICC. The United States is currently the only industrialized country that has not signed the treaty.