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May 16, 2014

International Criminal Court

Grade Level

High School


In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) began work as the first permanent international court in history created to investigate and prosecute individuals for atrocity crimes. The Court was formally established at a 1998 conference in Rome, Italy, now known as the Rome Conference. The Rome Statute is the resulting treaty from that meeting and outlines the structural and procedural details of the Court. The United States made many contributions to and signed the Rome Statute but ultimately voted not to ratify the treaty. This lesson compares the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights to the Rome Statute, then asks students to consider the relationship between the documents, and ultimately, whether or not the United States should ratify the treaty.

Required materials:

United States and the International Criminal Court lesson plan

Rome Statute excerpts handout

PBS Point of View "The Reckoning" Video Clip 1

PBS Point of View "The Reckoning" Video Clip 2