Although the United States has tried mightily to undermine the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it became operational in 2002, the U.S. government is now pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes in Ukraine. Apparently, Washington thinks the ICC is reliable enough to try Russians but not to bring U.S. or Israeli officials to justice. On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which “encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces.” When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, “This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction.
Venezuela has submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) a new report containing evidence on the damage caused by the illegal sanctions—the unilateral coercive measures imposed by authorities of the United States and the European Union. The report also provides evidence on how the United States government and the European Union have intentionally issued them in order to make the Venezuelan people suffer painful situations, to create conditions for overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of President Maduro. This was announced by the Executive Vice President of the Republic, Delcy Rodríguez, at a press conference at the Miraflores Palace on Tuesday, August 24.
The Biden administration will remove in the coming days sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on officials at the International Criminal Court, according to a report issued on Wednesday night. Sources familiar with the matter said the move could happen as soon as this week or next, but an official cautioned that no formal decision has yet been announced. Last year, former US President Donald Trump imposed economic and travel sanctions against International Criminal Court employees investigating abuses by Americans and its allies, including the occupation state of ‘Israel’.
Palestinian organisations have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to move swiftly in holding Israel to account for its actions in the Occupied Territories after a landmark decision on Friday. Judges ruled that it is within the court’s remit hear war crimes allegations made against Israel in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. In a preliminary investigation opened six years ago, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda focused on 2014’s Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip, which left 2,257 Palestinians dead, along with 74 Israeli soldiers. In December 2019, Ms Bensouda said there was “a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
On 2 September 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the imposition of sanctions on Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and prosecution jurisdiction director for authorizing such an investigation, including war crimes committed by U.S. forces, for which U.S. officials bear responsibility. These sanctions were based on a declaration by U.S. President Trump of a national emergency on this subject in June of 2020. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) rejects as outrageous these sanctions on senior prosecution officials of the International Criminal Court.
US sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials are “unacceptable and unprecedented” and should be reversed, said the EU’s top diplomat, while the French foreign minister called them “a grave attack” on the court. The sanctions are “unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the court's investigations and judicial proceedings,” EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement on Thursday. The US should “reconsider its position and reverse the measures it has taken,” Borrell added. His comments came shortly after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the sanctions as “a grave attack against the court,” saying it put into question “multilateralism and the independence of the judiciary.”
The Trump administration has sought to weaken or abandon various international agencies since 2016. Now it’s taking aim at the International Criminal Court, a global tribunal that investigates and prosecutes war crimes, torture and genocide. Claiming the ICC’s investigation into alleged war crimes by U.S. forces in Afghanistan poses a national security threat, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on June 11 effectively criminalizing anyone who works at the ICC. Its lawyers, judges, human rights researchers and staff could now have their U.S. bank accounts frozen, U.S. visas revoked and travel to the U.S. denied.
Israel is drawing up a secret list of military and intelligence officials who might be subject to arrest abroad if the International Criminal Court in the Hague opens an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories. Haaretz has learned that this list now includes between 200 and 300 officials, some of whom have not been informed. The great secrecy surrounding the issue stems from a fear that the mere disclosure of the list’s existence could endanger the people on it. The assessment is that the court is likely to view a list of names as an official Israeli admission of these officials’ involvement in the incidents under investigation. The ICC is expected to rule shortly on whether to approve the request by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate Israel and Hamas over suspicions of war crimes in the territories beginning in 2014, the year of Operation Protective Edge.
Free advice: one way for an administration to avoid the ire of an International Criminal Court (ICC) is not to act like a mafia crime family. Appearances and all. Only discretion has never been Donald Trump’s game. The kid from Queens – who built a casino empire in mobbed-up 1980s Atlantic City – thrives in another (under)world entirely. So, when the ICC had the temerity to even investigate America’s spies and soldiers in Afghanistan, Trump tried rather stronger(-arm) tactics: Mafia-style intimidation. I’m no Martin Scorsese, but here’s how it basically went down, in lay(“made-“)man’s terms: Youse foreign snowflakes from sissy Netherlands wanna stick your noses in our business? Alright then, my associates here got somethin’ for ya: Badabing! Suck on these! [sanctions, canceled visas, and endless threats]
The US secretary of state’s threats to sanction two employees working for the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and their families last month may have been the opening salvoes of a new US-Israel war against the justice body in The Hague. Both states currently face the embarrassing specter of war crimes investigations by the court – an unprecedented challenge to their impunity. In response, they aim to disempower the court by preventing it from exercising jurisdiction in countries that are not state parties to the Rome Statute, the treaty on which the court was founded. Should the US and Israel succeed, it would be a significant blow to the court’s independent mandate and purpose as a court of last resort for the victims of the world’s worst human rights abusers.
In early March, senior judges in the international criminal court ruled that an investigation into the actions the U.S., Afghan and Taliban military committed in 2003 could take place, overturning a previous ruling. Perhaps more remarkable than the fact the ICC, which had earlier assumed such an investigation wouldn’t be possible because none of those implicated would be likely to cooperate, was the U.S. response to the decision. “This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Although the Trump official’s blatant disparaging of a global justice organization is deeply troubling, American undermining of the ICC predates both Donald Trump’s rise to power and the Afghanistan War.
fter the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found a reasonable basis to believe that U.S. military and CIA leaders committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, Team Trump threatened to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from the U.S. and warned it would impose economic sanctions on the Court if it launched an investigation. Apparently succumbing to the U.S. threats, in April 2019, the ICC’s Pretrial Chamber refused to authorize the investigation that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had requested. But in an unprecedented decision, the Appeals Chamber unanimously overruled the Pretrial Chamber on March 5, 2020, and ordered a formal investigation of U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials for war crimes, including torture, committed in the “war on terror.”
Today, 5 March 2020, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court ('ICC' or 'Court') decided unanimously to authorise the Prosecutor to commence an investigation into alleged crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court in relation to the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Appeals Chamber's judgment amended the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II of 12 April 2019...
In a significant development for Israeli accountability, Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), seeks to launch an investigation into war crimes committed in Palestine. But she has established an unnecessary and politically suspect condition to slow down the process. Following a five-year preliminary examination, Bensouda found a reasonable basis to mount an investigation of “the situation in Palestine.”
The recently announced decision of the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli war crimes (pending a pre-Trial chamber decision on the “territories” at hand), has hit a raw nerve in Israel. It is not merely that Prime Minister Netanyahu went on Hasbara overdrive with his antics, saying that ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is ignoring “the truth when she says that the very act of Jews living in their ancestral homeland, the land of the Bible, that this is a war crime”.