Mass Withdrawals from the ICC Unlikely

By Catherine Lotrionte

Dr. Catherine Lotrionte is the Director of the Cyber Project in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she teaches and writes on international and national security law, international affairs and technology.  She has previously served as Counsel to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House, legal counsel for the Joint Inquiry Committee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Assistant General Counsel at the CIA. 

A number of countries are pushing back against the International Criminal Court (ICC). South Africa notified the UN-Secretary General in October that it is withdrawing from the Court. Russia may follow suit after finding out the Court plans to investigate Russian actions in Georgia in 2008. Even the U.S., which does not recognize the authority of the ICC, is making noise, unhappy that the ICC may investigate American actions in Afghanistan. However, Catherine Lotrionte, former Counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, told The Cipher Brief, a wave of withdrawals from the Court is unlikely.

The Cipher Brief: A number of African countries – Burundi, Gambia, South Africa – have announced their exit from the International Criminal Court (ICC). What is the formal process for leaving the court? 

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