Center for American Progress

RELEASE: International Justice Requires a New Approach to Avoid Being Undermined by Trump Presidency
Press Release

RELEASE: International Justice Requires a New Approach to Avoid Being Undermined by Trump Presidency

Washington, D.C. — The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States imperils many of the accomplishments of the post-Cold War international order. Of these, perhaps none is more fragile than the project of international criminal justice and, in particular, its flagship institution: the International Criminal Court, or ICC.

A new issue brief released by the Center for American Progress examines how a Trump presidency could undermine a quarter-century of progress in the fight against impunity. The brief advocates for a more strategic approach to international justice that is less centered on the ICC, more engaged with regional stakeholders, and more focused on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Donald Trump campaigned on a narrow vision of U.S. global engagement hostile to human rights and international law,” said Trevor Sutton, CAP Fellow and co-author of the brief. “His election poses a serious challenge to the ICC and other international criminal tribunals, which have traditionally counted on the support and cooperation of the United States. The key question going forward is how international justice can remain a viable project in a world where powerful actors are questioning bedrock principles of international law.”

Since 1993, the United Nations—with strong support from the United States—has established tribunals with jurisdiction over war crimes and other human rights abuses committed in Bosnia, Croatia, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Cambodia, along with the ICC, whose jurisdiction is currently recognized by more than 120 countries. Collectively, these bodies have investigated more than 300 cases, prosecuted more than 200 defendants, and obtained more than 150 convictions.

Click here to read the brief.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.