Text: H.J.Res.89 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/30/1997)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.J. Res. 89 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. J. RES. 89

 Calling on the President to continue to support and fully participate 
  in negotiations at the United Nations to conclude an international 
        agreement to establish an international criminal court.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 30, 1997

Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island (for himself, Mr. Leach, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. 
    Stark, Mr. McNulty, Mr. Evans, and Ms. Woolsey) introduced the 
  following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on 
                        International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                            JOINT RESOLUTION


 
 Calling on the President to continue to support and fully participate 
  in negotiations at the United Nations to conclude an international 
        agreement to establish an international criminal court.

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The preservation of international security and peace 
        rests on adherence to the rule of law and principles of justice 
        by the nations and peoples of the world.
            (2) International security and peace are threatened by 
        serious international crimes, including war crimes, genocide, 
        and crimes against humanity.
            (3) The commission of such serious international crimes can 
        have a severely detrimental effect on the United States and on 
        our national interests, presenting a potentially great human, 
        social, and economic cost and leading to situations which 
        jeopardize the lives of United States citizens and other 
        individuals and shock the conscience of humankind.
            (4) The prosecution of individuals suspected of committing 
        serious international crimes is often impeded by domestic, 
        political, and legal obstacles imposed by the nations involved.
            (5) The international military tribunals established after 
        World War II to try suspected war criminals demonstrated that 
        fair and effective prosecution of war criminals could be 
        carried out in an international forum by nations acting in 
        concert under international law.
            (6) Since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has 
        sought to establish a permanent international criminal court to 
        try crimes committed in violation of international law, 
        including the adoption in 1950 of United Nations General 
        Assembly Resolution 489(V) that created a special Committee on 
        International Criminal Jurisdiction to prepare proposals and a 
        draft statute to establish an international criminal court.
            (7) In 1978 the American Bar Association adopted a 
        resolution urging the Department of State to open negotiations 
        for a convention to establish an international criminal court 
        with jurisdiction over international crimes of hijacking, 
        violence aboard aircraft, crimes against diplomats and 
        internationally protected persons, murder, and kidnapping.
            (8) Beginning in recent decades with the 99th Congress, the 
        Congress has repeatedly passed legislation pointing to the need 
        for the establishment of an international criminal court to 
        prosecute individuals who have committed the most serious 
        international crimes and calling on the United States to pursue 
        the possible establishment of such a court.
            (9) The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 
        44/39 on December 4, 1989, calling on the International Law 
        Commission to study the feasibility of an international 
        criminal court.
            (10) The draft report of the International Law Commission 
        issued in July 1990 expressed the Commission's agreement in 
        principle with the idea of establishing a permanent 
        international criminal court.
            (11) In the 101st Congress, in the Foreign Operations, 
        Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 
        1991, Congress required the President and the Judicial 
        Conference of the United States to report to the Congress on 
        the establishment of an international criminal court.
            (12) In 1992 the American Bar Association adopted a 
        resolution calling on the United States Government to work 
        toward solving the legal and practical issues regarding the 
        establishment of an international criminal court.
            (13) The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 
        47/33 on November 25, 1992, calling on the International Law 
        Commission to begin the process of drafting a statute for an 
        international criminal court at its next session.
            (14) The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 
        808 on February 22, 1993, establishing an International 
        Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to prosecute 
        persons responsible for violations of international law in the 
        territory of the former Yugoslavia and adopted Resolution 955 
        in 1994 establishing the International Criminal Tribunal for 
        Rwanda.
            (15) In the 103d Congress, in section 517(b) of the Foreign 
        Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995, it was 
        expressed as the sense of the Senate that the establishment of 
        an international criminal court would greatly strengthen 
        international rule of law, such a court would serve United 
        States interests, and the United States should advance this 
        proposal at the United Nations.
            (16) The International Law Commission presented a draft 
        statute for an international criminal court at its 46th session 
        on September 1, 1994.
            (17) The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 
        49/53 on December 9, 1994, establishing an ad hoc committee, 
        open to all states, which met for 4 weeks in 1995 to review the 
        major substantive and administrative issues arising out of the 
        draft statute prepared by the International Law Commission and 
        to consider arrangements for the convening of an international 
        conference of plenipotentiaries.
            (18) Based upon the report of the ad hoc committee, the 
        United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 50/46 on 
        December 18, 1995, establishing a preparatory committee on the 
        establishment of an international criminal court to further 
        review the substantive issues arising out of the draft statute 
        of the International Law Commission and to draft texts, with a 
        view to preparing a widely acceptable consolidated text of a 
        convention for an international criminal court as a next step 
        toward consideration by a conference of plenipotentiaries.
            (19) The work of this preparatory committee in 1996 and 
        1997 has made encouraging and substantial progress toward 
        achieving such a consolidated text.
            (20) The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 
        51/207 calling for up to 9 weeks of negotiations by the 
        preparatory committee in 1997 and the beginning of 1998 to 
        complete the drafting of a widely accepted consolidated text of 
        a convention for a diplomatic conference in June 1998.
            (21) President Clinton has expressed support for a 
        permanent war crimes tribunal, stating in October 1995 that 
        ``all nations around the world who value freedom and tolerance 
        [should] establish a permanent international criminal court to 
        prosecute, with the support of the United Nations Security 
        Council, serious violations of humanitarian law.''.
            (22) The crimes under negotiation for inclusion in the 
        international criminal court's jurisdiction are the most 
        serious and horrendous of international crimes, such as 
        genocide and crimes against humanity, and the failure to punish 
        such crimes offends worldwide standards of law and morality and 
        threatens the establishment of peace and reconciliation.
            (23) The late 20th century has witnessed numerous incidents 
        of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
            (24) The time is right for the creation of a permanent 
        international criminal court and the United States should 
        continue to support strongly its establishment and participate 
        fully in the preparation of provisions under which such a court 
        can be established and can operate fairly and effectively.

SEC. 2. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that the President, acting through 
the permanent representative of the United States to the United 
Nations--
            (1) should continue to support and fully participate in 
        negotiations at the United Nations and especially in the 
        preparatory committee to establish an international criminal 
        court with jurisdiction over serious international crimes, 
        including war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity; 
        and
            (2) should provide any assistance necessary to expedite the 
        establishment of such a court.

SEC. 3. REPORT.

    Not later than 30 days after the date of the final session of the 
preparatory committee described in section 2(1), the President shall 
submit to the Congress a detailed report on developments relating to, 
and United States efforts in support of, the establishment of an 
international criminal court.
                                 <all>