Dáil Éireann - Volume 574 - 13 November, 2003
Written Answers. - International Agreements.
Mr. Cuffe Mr. Cuffe
66. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the current state of the dispute between the United States and the European Union over the International Criminal Court; if any of the accession states have signed Article 98 exemption agreements with the United States; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26771/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): I would not characterise the differing views on the International Criminal Court, ICC, held by the United States of America and the European Union and other supporters of the ICC as a dispute. The United States has approached a large number of states seeking to conclude bilateral agreements under Article 98(2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to prohibit the surrender of its nationals to the court. These are generally referred to as “bilateral non-surrender agreements”.
The European Union has analysed the terms of the agreements sought by the US and has concluded that in creating classes of immune persons it goes beyond what is permitted by the Rome statute. The EU has drawn up guidelines – the guiding principles – on what such agreements must contain or avoid to be compatible with the statute. As part of its activities in promoting the effective functioning of the ICC, the EU has drawn these guiding principles to the attention of states party to the Rome statute which are contemplating the conclusion of a bilateral non-surrender agreement. This activity has not been undertaken to prevent the US or any other state from seeking to pursue the conclusion of bilateral non-surrender agreements. It has been conducted solely in the context of the EU's support for the ICC and the integrity of the Rome statute.
The US, however, maintains that the Rome statute or bilateral non-surrender agreements which conform to it in accordance with the EU guiding principles do not provide sufficient protection to its personnel from the threat of politically motivated prosecutions. I am not aware that any of the EU accession states has signed a bilateral non-surrender agreement.
Dáil Éireann 574 Written Answers. International Agreements.