International Criminal Court

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The American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate. It is shocking. ~ Christoph Flügge

The International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

Quotes[edit]

2018[edit]

2019[edit]

  • Bensouda’s office said she had an “independent and impartial mandate” under Rome Statute governing the ICC. “The prosecutor and her office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favour,” it added. Bensouda makes regular trips to the UN in New York, where she gives briefings to the security council. The UN office is seen as covered by a form of diplomatic immunity... Bensouda asked ICC judges in November 2017 for authorisation to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan government forces and international forces, including US troops. The investigation is also expected to examine CIA activity in detention centres in Afghanistan. The court has not yet decided whether to launch a full-blown investigation that would cover events after 2002.

2020[edit]

  • Bensouda (the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor since June 2012) found the alleged crimes by the CIA and U.S. military “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” but were “part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.” ... The Pretrial Chamber agreed with Bensouda that there were reasonable grounds to believe that, pursuant to a U.S. policy, members of the CIA had committed war crimes. They included torture and cruel treatment, and outrages upon personal dignity, as well as rape and other forms of sexual violence against those held in detention facilities in the territory of States Parties to the Rome Statute, including Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

Quotes about[edit]

If the U.S. government had prosecuted Bush administration officials for their war crimes during the “war on terror,” the ICC would not now take jurisdiction. But after Barack Obama  said, “Generally speaking, I’m more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards,” his administration refused to prosecute those implicated in the torture and willful killings of detainees during the Bush administration. ~Marjorie Cohn

2018[edit]

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC's) mandate to investigate war crimes has thus been hampered by the unwillingness of the world’s sole superpower to commit to the organization.... Recent statements...suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the ICC itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip....The unwillingness or inability of U.S. courts to seriously investigate war crimes carried out by American citizens is part of why the ICC mandate in Afghanistan has been viewed as an important effort to bring a minimum level of accountability over the conflict.
  • France is... being sued in the International Criminal Court for alleged "crimes against humanity." The case has been brought by leaders of French Polynesia, citing nearly 200 nuclear tests France carried out in the South Pacific, causing thousands to become ill from radioactive fallout... French Polynesia, which is still officially a collectivity of France... was once the principle location of France's nuclear tests. The country's Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls faced 193 such tests between the 1960s and the mid-1990s, according to France 24.... About 150,000 civilians and military personnel were involved in the tests, and a large number later developed serious health problems as a result. Although about 1,000 people have officially filed complaints against the French government, only 20 have received any compensation... France had long denied any wrongdoing in conducting the tests, arguing that it had no bearing on health and the environment. It wasn't until 2010 that the country officially passed legislation allowing for compensation for veterans and civilians who suffered as a result of the experiments.

2019[edit]

  • In September... White House national security adviser John Bolton cited the ongoing investigation and another probe into alleged crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians as signs that the court was "ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous" in a speech to the Federalist Society in Washington. He rejected "any attempts to constrain the United States," highlighting that the U.S. had "un-signed" the 2002 Rome Statute under former President George W. Bush...
    "We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us," Bolton argued, adding that the "the U.S. will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court."
    Former judge Christoph Flügge cited these comments and U.S. threats to restrict the visas of ICC judges as one of the reasons he felt the need to resign from his decade-long post on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in a January interview with The Guardian. In March, Pompeo announced "a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel."

2020[edit]

  • The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Thursday reiterated her position that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague. Dismissing the legal opinions of several states and dozens of international law scholars, Fatou Bensouda’s view, laid out in great detail in a 60-page document, could pave the way for an investigation of alleged war crimes committed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. “The Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants and remains of the view that the Court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she wrote.
  • On December 20, concluding a five-year preliminary examination of the “situation in Palestine,” Bensouda said she has “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed” in those regions by both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and other “Palestinian armed groups." At the time, she said that she herself believes the court indeed has jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes in the regions, but, due to the controversial nature of the case, asked for a definitive ruling on the matter from a pre-trial chamber. Member states and independent experts were invited to weigh on the matter as well. “Such a wide variety of perspectives will afford considerable legitimacy to the Court’s ultimate decision,” Bensouda wrote. In the document she published Thursday, Bensouda reiterated that her position is not about the question of Palestinian statehood per se, but rather about whether the “State of Palestine,” which is a member of the ICC, can convey criminal jurisdiction to the court. In her view, Palestine indeed fulfills all required criteria to do that.
  • Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair’s UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute” (which was only “Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians” and which ignored the real crime, which was “aggressive war” or “the crime of aggression” — the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg).
    Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world’s most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn’t, Barack Obama repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which likewise means that every other nation is “dispensable.” The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.
  • A war crimes complaint has been filed against President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump adviser Jared Kushner in the International Criminal Court (ICC).... The complaint, filed by Middlesex University law professor William Schabas on June 30 on behalf of four Palestinians who live in the West Bank, states “there is credible evidence” that Trump, Netanyahu and Kushner “are complicit in acts that may amount to war crimes relating to the transfer of populations into occupied territory and the annexation of the sovereign territory of the State of Palestine.” Under article 15 of the ICC’s Rome Statute, any individual, group or organization can bring a complaint to the Office of the Prosecutor. ... Schabas’ complaint comes on the heels of unusual moves last month from the Trump administration, which declared a “national emergency” in June in an effort to shield U.S. and Israeli officials from ICC accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute, thereby becoming a member of the States Parties of the International Criminal Court. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) filed an amicus brief on March 16, 2020, urging the ICC to confirm its jurisdiction over Palestine. IADL bureau member Richard Harvey wrote: The ICC’s normative power and legal authority will be strengthened by confirming its jurisdiction over the State of Palestine, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and opening an investigation into the Palestinian situation. Thereby the equal rights of all peoples to justice for international crimes will receive much-needed affirmation.... Sixty-seven ICC member countries representing regions throughout the world issued a joint statement expressing their “unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution.”
  • The president of the international criminal court has accused the US of acting unlawfully by threatening an economic and legal offensive against the institution following a decision by judges to open an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan... “This is unlawful … In any liberal democracy, or even not so liberal democracies, you pick up a statute book and it will tell you that it is against the law to coerce a court of law in order to have justice the way you want it,” Eboe-Osuji said in an interview. “Even in the US itself, the law forbids that form of conduct.”

See Also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia