Press release - 495(2009)

"The International Criminal Court should be defended and strengthened" says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg. 22.06.2009- “European countries should defend the International Criminal Court and request the withdrawal of impunity for US nationals” says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing his latest Viewpoint today.

“It is high time that the US policies towards the International Criminal Court are reviewed in the spirit of active and positive cooperation with the Court. The new US administration should contribute to making the Court an effective instrument of last resort against impunity for crimes that have gone unpunished despite their horrendous character”

The Commissioner criticises, in particular, the full-scale campaign against the Court, including the political and diplomatic pressure by former US administrations on a number of Council of Europe members states. He encourages European states which have still not ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, to come on board. “An effective and independent international justice mechanism is still needed”

Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at”.

Press contacts in the Commissioner’s Office:

Stefano Montanari, +33 3 88 41 35 38;


Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Communication Unit
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 35 38
Fax:+33 (0)3 90 21 50 53