WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama’s administration has dropped outright US hostility toward the world’s first permanent war crimes court, but it is still a far cry from joining it, experts say.
US officials say the new team is reviewing its policy on the International Criminal Court (ICC) after former president George W. Bush’s administration snubbed it and drew fire that it was showing contempt for international law.
But the Obama administration faces several obstacles if it wants to join.
Experts say it could meet resistance from the armed forces and Congress, and any support could vanish if the ICC warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir leads to more, rather than less, bloodshed in Darfur.
John Washburn, who leads a coalition of groups promoting the court’s cause in the United States, said the new team is still wary about joining the world’s first permanent tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But it is not for ideological reasons.
“It has a different view of international law (than the Bush administration). It has a commitment to mulitalateral approaches wherever those are going to be effective,” Washburn told AFP.