American Service-Members' Protection Act

The American Service-Members' Protection Act (ASPA, Title 2 of Pub.L. 107–206 (text) (PDF), H.R. 4775, 116 Stat. 820, enacted August 2, 2002), known informally as the Hague Invasion Act, is a United States federal law which aims "to protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not party." The text of the Act has been codified as subchapter II of chapter 81 of title 22, United States Code.

American Service-Members' Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
EffectiveAugust 2, 2002
Public law107-206
Statutes at Large116 Stat. 820
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 4775 by Bill Young (RFL)
  • Passed the House on May 24, 2002 (280–138)
  • Passed the Senate on June 7, 2002 (71–22)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on July 23, 2002; agreed to by the House of Representatives on July 23, 2002 (397–32) and by the Senate on July 24, 2002 (92–7)
  • Signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2002

Since the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the law authorizes the President of the United States to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court". This authorization led the act to be nicknamed The Hague Invasion Act because the ICC is located in The Hague and the act might result in the USA invading the Netherlands.[1][2]

Introduced by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and U.S. Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX)[3] it was an amendment to the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States (H.R. 4775).[4] The amendment passed 75–19 (S.Amdt 3597).[5] The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2002.


The act prohibits federal, state and local governments and agencies (including courts and law enforcement agencies) from assisting the International Criminal Court (ICC). For example, it prohibits the extradition of any person from the U.S. to the ICC; it also prohibits the transfer of classified national security information and law enforcement information to the ICC.

The act also prohibits U.S. military aid to countries that are party to the ICC. However, exceptions are allowed for aid to NATO members, major non-NATO allies, Taiwan, and countries that have entered into "Article 98 agreements", agreeing not to hand over U.S. nationals to the ICC.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Human Rights Watch, "U.S.: 'Hague Invasion Act' Becomes Law". 3 August 2002. Accessed 8 January 2007.
  2. ^ John Sutherland, "Who are America's real enemies?". The Guardian, 8 July 2002. Accessed 8 January 2007.
  3. ^ Coalition of the International Criminal Court, "US Congress Passes Anti-ICC "Hague Invasion Act"". 4 March 2016. Accessed 6 March 2013.
  4. ^ Govtrack, "H.R. 4775 (107th): 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States". Accessed 6 March 2013.
  5. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress - 2nd Session". Retrieved 2021-01-20.

External linksEdit