Document Type


Publication Date

April 1999

Journal or Book Title

Australian Journal of International Affairs






A permanent international criminal court (ICC) was created by an international treaty signed on July 17, 1998 in Rome. This article is an analysis of the newly created ICC. In it we explore both the institutional weaknesses and strengths of the Court, as well as the sea of political realities within which the Court must navigate, and which ultimately will determine its effectiveness. Finally, we analyze the impact (i.e., advantages and disadvantages) of the Court on the U.S. national interest. As a nation which has the capacity to play a preponderant role in making the ICC either effective or ineffective, the U.S., through its support (or lack of), will be in a crucial position of influencing the fate of the Court. Through this analysis we hope to shed light on the potential impact which the ICC will have on the enforcement of international criminal law.