The International Criminal Court, The Palestinians, The Israelis, The American Veto – Some Resources For The Perplexed

2:05 am in Uncategorized by

icc-logoNow I hate to rain on anyone’s parade following the excellent news of the vote taking Palestine from being classified as a “non-member observer entity” to a “non-member observer state“. It’s very good news as it means that Palestine can sign treaties and join such bodies as the International Criminal Court (ICC). But perhaps some parade ground raining is in order before people make unwarranted assumptions and statements about what the court is and what it can and cannot do.

I said in a comment to “Edward Teller’s posting Historic Palestinian Recognition UN General Assembly Vote Coming: Live Feed | MyFDL that “Ultimately it [the Palestinian state] will be able to launch prosecutions in the ICC both against the Jewish state and against named officials” . That’s true, but there are considerable difficulties in the way of such a prosecution. I’ll address these as and when they arise. My present purpose is to give people some basic information about the International Criminal Court and suggest some reading material for those interested in learning more:

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (hereafter ICC) is a judicial body established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. You will sometimes see this Statute referred to as the “International Criminal Court Statute” or more frequently as the “Rome Statute“.

The Rome Statute created a permanent Court with jurisdiction to try persons for the most serious crimes of international concern, including inter alia:

  • Crimes against humanity
  • War crimes
  • Genocide

Where national legal systems are incapable or unwilling to do so.

Jurisdictional Scope of the International Criminal Court

  • The Court has jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes and initiate prosecutions in cases where:
  • The State where the events took place is a Party to the Court.
  • The State of nationality of the accused is a Party to the Court.
  • When one or other of these States has given its consent to the Court investigating alleged crimes and initiating prosecutions.
  • The Court also has jurisdiction in respect of situations referred to it by the United Nations Security Council.
Limits to Jurisdictional Scope of the International Criminal Court

Read the rest of this entry →