The United Nations and the ICC are inherently incompatible with national sovereignty. America must either remain a constitutional republic or submit to international law because it cannot do both. The Constitution is the highest law in the country, and the conflict between respect for the rule of law and the obedience of global planners now faces us. Fortunately, right now, we have a president who opposes the ICC, but at the end of the day, it is up to Congress – and concerned citizens – to ensure that no American is ever tried before an international tribunal.  Article 98 of the Rome Statute prohibits the ICC from seeking assistance or handing over a person to the ICC if it compels the state to act in an “incoherent manner” with its obligations under international law or international conventions, unless the state or third country lifts immunity or grants cooperation.  The United States has interpreted this article to mean that no state that has signed a bilateral agreement with the United States prohibiting such a transfer can transfer its citizens to the ICC, even if the State is a member of the Rome Statute. The United States has actively urged states to enter into such Article 98 agreements, which are also known as bilateral immunity agreements (BIAs). The Bush administration claimed that the BIAs were developed out of fear that existing agreements – in particular the status of military agreements or the status of mission agreements (SOFAs or SOMAs) – would not adequately protect Americans from ICC jurisdiction. While most members of Congress continue to support efforts to protect U.S.
citizens serving abroad from ICC persecution, many are beginning to oppose the application of sanctions to convince countries to sign bilateral immunity (Article 98 agreement). Some members of Congress support the removal of all RESTRICTIONs on ICC-related aid, while others believe that at least some restrictions should be maintained to encourage other countries to sign Article 98 agreements. Whether these aid restrictions should be maintained will likely be considered by the 110th Congress.