The International Criminal Liability of United States Government Lawyers Authorizing Torture

Mary H. Hansel

In a matter of weeks, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to open a full-fledged investigation into the “war crimes of torture and related ill-treatment, by United States military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.” Pursuant to the principle of complementarity, the ICC cannot take the case if the United States has conducted its own investigation and decided against prosecution “unless the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the State genuinely to prosecute.”