Photo Source: © Rick Bajornas/UN Photo
Photo Source: © Rick Bajornas/UN Photo

More than 70 Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith-Based Groups, and Academic Institutions Call for the Biden Administration to Repeal ICC Sanctions

17 February 2021

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.

  1. The Advocates for Human Rights
  2. Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School
  3. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  4. American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
  5. Amnesty International USA
  6. Anti-Torture Initiative, American University Washington College of Law
  7. Associazione Luca Coscioni
  8. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
  9. Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
  10. Center for Justice and Accountability
  11. Center for the Study of Law & Genocide, Loyola Law School
  12. Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)
  13. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
  14. Darfur Women Action Group
  15. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  16. Eumans
  17. European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
  18. Fortify Rights
  19. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  20. Global Justice Center
  21. Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law
  22. Guernica 37 Chambers and Centre for International Justice
  23. Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York School of Law
  24. Human Rights First
  25. Human Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
  26. Human Rights Watch
  27. Institute for Policy Studies, Drug Policy Project
  28. Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
  29. International Association of Democratic Lawyers
  30. International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  31. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  32. International Criminal Court Alliance (ICCA)
  33. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  34. International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law
  35. International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School
  36. InterReligious Task Force on Central America
  37. J Street
  38. Justice for Muslims Collective
  39. Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
  40. National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  41. Never Again Coalition
  42. No Peace Without Justice
  43. Open Society Foundations
  44. Operation Broken Silence
  45. Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)
  46. Partners in Justice International
  47. Pax Christi USA
  48. Physicians for Human Rights
  49. Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness Project Blueprint
  50. The Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA School of Law
  52. The Rendition Project Reprieve
  53. Science for Democracy The Sentry
  54. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
  56. Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  57. The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre
  58. TRIAL International
  59. United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
  60. The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
  61. University of Southern California (USC) Gould International Human Rights Clinic
  62. US Human Rights Network (USHRN)
  63. US Filipinos for Good Governance DC/MD/VA Chapter
  64. Victim Advocates International
  65. War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law
  66. Western New York Peace Center
  67. Win Without War
  68. Witness Against Torture
  69. Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ)
  70. World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP)
  71. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
  72. World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

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

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and other NGOs


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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

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