The undersigned organizations urge the Biden Administration to engage constructively with the International Criminal Court (ICC). The U.S. government’s support for the ICC could help secure justice for victims in situations from Myanmar to Darfur, just as it helped facilitate the February 4 historic conviction of a former leader of an armed rebel group for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Uganda.

There is an immediate need to act to reset U.S. policy regarding the ICC. Most urgently, we are alarmed by recent calls for the U.S. government to maintain or even expand the sanctions put into place by the Trump administration in June 2020 currently targeting the court’s work.

These actions were an unprecedented attack on the court’s mandate to deliver justice and the rule of law globally, an abuse of the U.S. government’s financial powers, and a betrayal of the U.S. legacy in establishing institutions of international justice. They were also an attack on those who engage with the court, including human rights defenders and victims. These extraordinary measures have put the U.S. at odds with many of its closest allies. They also have been challenged on constitutional grounds domestically.

Keeping in place the executive order authorizing sanctions would be inconsistent with the new administration’s laudable commitments to respecting the rule of law and pursuing multilateral cooperation in support of U.S. interests. It would also transform a shameful but temporary action into a standing license for other governments to attack multilateral institutions when they disagree with those bodies’ actions.

We call upon the U.S. government to rescind Executive Order 13928 and all sanctions measures against ICC officials at the earliest possible opportunity. We appeal for constructive engagement with the ICC and we urge the Biden administration and members of Congress to support that approach.

This statement was coordinated by the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court (WICC), an informal and nonpartisan coalition of diverse NGOs, including human rights organizations, faith based groups, professional associations, and others. WICC meetings are co-convened by Veronica R. Glick and Rebecca A. Shoot, who may be reached for comment at WICC@washingtonicc.org.

The Advocates for Human Rights International USA
Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Amnesty International USA
Anti-Torture Initiative, American University Washington College of Law
Associazione Luca Coscioni
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Center for Justice and Accountability
Center for the Study of Law & Genocide, Loyola Law School
Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) 
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces Darfur Women Action Group
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Fortify Rights
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Global Justice Center
Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law
Guernica 37 Chambers and Centre for International Justice
Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York School of Law Human Rights First
Human Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
Human Rights Watch
Institute for Policy Studies, Drug Policy Project
Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
International Association of Democratic Lawyers
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
International Criminal Court Alliance (ICCA)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law
International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School
InterReligious Task Force on Central America
J Street
Justice for Muslims Collective
Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Never Again Coalition
No Peace Without Justice
Open Society Foundations
Operation Broken Silence
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)
Partners in Justice International
Pax Christi USA
Physicians for Human Rights
Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness
Project Blueprint
The Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA School of Law
The Rendition Project
Science for Democracy
The Sentry
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre
TRIAL International
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
University of Southern California (USC) Gould International Human Rights Clinic US Human Rights Network (USHRN)
US Filipinos for Good Governance DC/MD/VA Chapter
Victim Advocates International
War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law Western New York Peace Center
Win Without War
Witness Against Torture
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ)
World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

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