International OrganizationsInternational Relations

The International Criminal Court

Posted on in International Organizations · International Relations

Last week, John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, said the United States would seek sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it pursued cases against U.S. citizens, claiming “The International Criminal Court unacceptably threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests.”

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for The International Criminal Court


“John Bolton threatens ICC with U.S. sanctions”

“International Criminal Court defiant in the face of U.S. threats”

“International Criminal Court in The Hague says it is ‘undeterred’ after U.S. sanctions threat”

“‘Already Dead to Us’: Why the Trump Administration Has a Problem with the International Criminal Court”

“The U.S. Goes to War Against the ICC to Cover up Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan”

“John Bolton threatens ICC with sanctions: ‘We will not cooperate’”

“The International Criminal Court is No Threat to America, But John Bolton is | Opinion”

“John Bolton is wrong to attack International Criminal Court”

“Why Bolton’s Assault on the ICC Is Not in U.S. Interests”

“U.S. Threat to Sanction International Criminal Court is ‘Legal Nihilism’ – Scholar”


  • WritingWhy did the United States threaten the International Criminal Court?
  • Debate: The ICC is a threat to the sovereignty of states and should be abolished.
  • Poll: How many of you have heard of the International Criminal Court before last week’s news?
  • Short Answer: When can the ICC intervene to prosecute state actors?

Current events quiz:

1) Who is John Bolton?

a. The National Security Advisor of the Bush Administration
b. The Secretary of State of the Bush Administration
c. The National Security Advisor of the Trump Administration
d. The Secretary of State of the Trump Administration

2) John Bolton is attacking the ICC because he believes __________.

  1. they do not take the threat of ISIS seriously
  2. the ICC is threatening our national security interests
  3. the ICC threatens American sovereignty
  4. both b and c

3) The ICC can prosecute and try individuals and institutions over __________.

  1. war crimes
  2. genocide
  3. crimes against humanity
  4. All of the above

4) John Bolton believes the International Criminal Court unacceptably threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests. (T/F)

5) The United States became involved with Afghanistan after the attacks on September 11, 2001. (T/F)

6) The ICC was established in 2002 to replace individual legal systems in countries with one, cohesive, international legal system. (T/F)


1) C

2) D

3) D

4) T

5) T

6) F

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