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International Criminal Court

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will resume negotiations with the United States on the proposed Article 98 bilateral agreement concerning the International Criminal Court; and if he will make a statement. [98213]

[holding answer 24 February 2003]: Officials met at US request on 17 October 2002 for preliminary discussions. We await a further approach from the US side. The statute of the ICC provides for Article 98.2 agreements in specific circumstances. We will not enter into any agreement with the US unless it is in strict conformity with the statute and the guiding principles agreed with EU partners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanism is available for determining the legality of a bilateral treaty concerning the Charter on the International Criminal Court. [98385]

Article 98.2 of the ICC statute provides that the court may not ask a state for surrender of a suspected person if the request would require that state to act inconsistently with its obligations under a relevant international agreement. If the prosecutor nevertheless made such a request, Article 97 would require the state concerned to consult with the court in order to resolve the matter. The statute also makes provision for a case where a state fails to comply with a request from the court, contrary to its obligations under the statute: in such a case the court may refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council has referred the case, to the Council.