[JURIST] A provision in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act [text] on its way to the US House of Representatives after being passed 96-0 Thursday by the Senate would restore military aid to countries that refuse to sign bilateral immunity agreements - so-called Article 98 [US Department of State backgrounder] agreements - under which they promise not to hand over US personnel for trial in the new International Criminal Court [official website; JURIST news archive] without US permission. Dropping the ban would allow officers from certain Latin America and Caribbean countries to once again receive training [US DOD backgrounder] in the United States, a process encouraged by the US military, in part to avoid them seeking similar training by alternate states such as China. The House version of the bill does not currently contain a provision eliminating the training ban, but supporters of the bill are hopeful that the amendment will survive House and Senate negotiations.
Twelve countries [list] in Latin America and the Caribbean - including major US allies Mexico and Brazil and US nemesis Venezuela - have so far refused to enter into Article 98 agreements. The Miami Herald has more.