On June 11, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13928 “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Associated with the International Criminal Court” (“ICC EO“), which authorizes the imposition of sanctions and visa restrictions on non-US ICC officials in connection with investigations into US or allied government officials or military personnel.  The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, which is the treaty that established the ICC. 

The President declared a national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in response to the ICC’s “assertions of jurisdiction over personnel of the United States and certain of its allies, including the ICC Prosecutor’s investigation into actions allegedly committed by United States military, intelligence, and other personnel in or relating to Afghanistan.”  The President stated that such developments threaten to subject current and former US government and allied officials “to harassment, abuse, and possible arrest,” and “to infringe upon the sovereignty of the United States.”

The ICC EO does not immediately impose sanctions on any individuals but authorizes the US government to designate as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) any non-US person determined to have:

  • Directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any US personnel without the consent of the United States;
  • Directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any personnel of a country that is an ally of the United States without the consent of that country’s government;
  • Materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, either of the two above activities, or any person designated as an SDN under the ICC EO; or
  • Acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person designated as an SDN under the ICC EO, or who is owned or controlled by any such person.

The ICC EO also requires that any non-US person determined to meet one or more of the above criteria, and their immediate family members (defined here to include spouses and children), be banned from entry to the United States. In public statements accompanying the release of the ICC EO, Secretary of State Pompeo noted that designations under the ICC EO “will be made on a case-by-case basis against specific individuals” and Attorney General Barr stated that the Department of Justice is investigating “substantial, credible information that raises serious concerns about a long history of financial corruption and malfeasance at the highest levels of the [ICC] office of the prosecutor,” that “calls into question the integrity of the ICC’s investigations.”

Author

Ms. Kim focuses on outbound trade compliance issues that arise under US economic sanctions, export control laws, investment restrictions, anti-boycott regulations, anti-money laundering laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She represents and advises US and non-US companies in criminal and regulatory proceedings, internal investigations, and compliance audits relating to these areas of law. She also advises on the extraterritorial application of these laws in cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint venture arrangements, and other international commercial activities. Her practice includes the development and implementation of workable, risk-based internal compliance programs and procedures for companies in a wide range of industries.

Author

Eunkyung advices clients on various regulatory compliance and trade issues, concentrating on the US export controls such as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), economic and trade sanctions, US customs and import laws, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and foreign anti-bribery laws.

Author

Daniel Andreeff’s practice focuses on US economic and trade sanctions, including those targeting Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, and North Korea, export controls, and anti-boycott laws. He represents clients in national security reviews before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and has experience in federal court litigation and congressional investigations. His pro bono practice includes providing sanctions and export control advice to a global humanitarian NGO. * Admitted in New York only. Practice in the District of Columbia is under the supervision of a member of the District of Columbia Bar.