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US officials cite urgency, limited practice in explaining stance on Darfur court

[JURIST] US officials Friday went out of their way to explain why the United States Thursday evening did not veto [JURIST report] a French-sponsored resolution [text] referring war crimes in Sudan to the International Criminal Court [official website] in The Hague, long anathema to US policymakers. Echoing comments made by the US representative in the Council chamber immediately after the vote, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice emphasized the urgency of international action to address the Darfur situation. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher later suggested that the US had recognized a limited practice allowing such referrals when the internal justice system of a state which not a party to the ICC statute was not capable of conducting prosecutions itself. US officials also pointed out that the approved resolution had contained an express provision exempting nationals of nonparties to the ICC (other than Sudan) from prosecution while referring a nonparty to the court, thereby addressing one of their ongoing concerns about the tribunal. The Washington Times had more.

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