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Human Rights Watch Welcomes Establishment of International Court

(Rome) - Human Rights Watch tonight welcomed the establishment of an International Criminal Court, despite serious flaws in the draft treaty.  
Final discussions among the 160 delegations gathered in Rome suggest that the treaty's detractors, including the United States, will not succeed in preventing its adoption before the conference ends in the next few hours.  
Human Rights Watch has condemned several provisions in the treaty that weaken the court, including restrictions on the court's jurisdiction, and an "opt-out" clause that would allow states to put themselves beyond the court's reach on war crimes.  
"It's a good thing to have an International Criminal Court," said Richard Dicker, who leads the ICC campaign for Human Rights Watch, an international monitoring organization based in New York. "Of course this treaty has many serious weaknesses, and we'll be busy in the coming months trying to improve it. But this court is still better than no court."  
"Potential victims are safer with the establishment of this court," said Dicker.  
The ICC will prosecute and punish future acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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