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US President Trump applies sanctions to the International Criminal Court

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

The USA and Israel are the two most prominent countries which refuse to recognise the International Criminal Court. But the International Criminal Court takes action where it finds it. And US President Trump doesn't like it when US Citizens are affected. Now he's taken the remarkable step of issuing an Executive Order on 11 June 2020 applying sanctions to those involved in the Court. And he's declared a national emergency.

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the situation with respect to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its illegitimate assertions of jurisdiction over personnel of the United States and certain of its allies, including the ICC Prosecutor’s investigation into actions allegedly committed by United States military, intelligence, and other personnel in or relating to Afghanistan, threatens to subject current and former United States Government and allied officials to harassment, abuse, and possible arrest. These actions on the part of the ICC, in turn, threaten to infringe upon the sovereignty of the United States and impede the critical national security and foreign policy work of United States Government and allied officials, and thereby threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

It's important to note that it is not Trump who made the decision not to sign up to the Treaty of Rome and to reject recognition of the International Criminal Court. In 2002, the US Congress passed the American Service-Members’ Protection Act (22 U.S.C. 7421 et seq.

That, Trump said yesterday, was because it "rejected the ICC’s over-broad, non-consensual assertions of jurisdiction."

I therefore determine that any attempt by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States, or of personnel of countries that are United States allies and who are not parties to the Rome Statute or have not otherwise consented to ICC jurisdiction, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

The Order is extremely wide ranging. Let's make one thing clear - something that so many advisers fail to understand - this now brings ss311-313 of the USA Patriot Act into play. If Financial Crime Risk and Compliance Officers don't understand the importance of that, their advice has been woefully inadequate.

This is the operative part of the Executive Order (verbatim):

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) any foreign person determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General:

(A) to have directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States;

(B) to have directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any personnel of a country that is an ally of the United States without the consent of that country’s government;

(C) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i)(A) or (a)(i)(B) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(D) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the date of this order.

Sec. 2. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1(a) of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 3. The prohibitions in section 1(a) of this order include: (a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1(a) of this order; and (b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 4. The unrestricted immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1(a) of this order, as well as immediate family members of such aliens, or aliens determined by the Secretary of State to be employed by, or acting as an agent of, the ICC, would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, is hereby suspended, except where the Secretary of State determines that the entry of the person into the United States would not be contrary to the interests of the United States, including when the Secretary so determines, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General, that the person’s entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives. In exercising this responsibility, the Secretary of State shall consult the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters related to admissibility or inadmissibility within the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions). The Secretary of State shall have the responsibility for implementing this section pursuant to such conditions and procedures as the Secretary has established or may establish pursuant to Proclamation 8693.Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited. (b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 6. Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

Sec. 7. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a government or instrumentality of such government, partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization, including an international organization;

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term “United States personnel” means any current or former members of the Armed Forces of the United States, any current or former elected or appointed official of the United States Government, and any other person currently or formerly employed by or working on behalf of the United States Government;

(e) the term “personnel of a country that is an ally of the United States” means any current or former military personnel, current or former elected or appointed official, or other person currently or formerly employed by or working on behalf of a government of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member country or a “major non-NATO ally”, as that term is defined by section 2013(7) of the American Service-Members’ Protection Act (22 U.S.C. 7432(7)); and

(f) the term “immediate family member” means spouses and children.

Sec. 8. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to section 1 of this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

Sec. 9. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA as may be necessary to implement this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions within the
Department of the Treasury. All departments and agencies of the United States shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement this order.

Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 11.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

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