President Trump on Thursday, June 11, authorized sanctions and visa restrictions against International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel in response to the international body’s investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. military and intelligence officials.
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Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 5 unanimously approved an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan committed by the United States military, Afghan authorities and the Taliban. The prosecutor is authorized to investigate crimes alleged to have been committed in Afghanistan since May 1, 2003, as well as other alleged crimes linked to the Afghan conflict committed on the territory of other states party to the Rome Statute since July 1, 2002.
John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser may have the most dramatic implications for U.S. policy toward North Korea and Iran. But there’s another dimension to his elevation that deserves at least some attention. Bolton, who has been a ferocious opponent of the International Criminal Court, will likely be assuming his post just as the ICC opens its first ever investigation of United States conduct.
A team from the ICC prosecutor's office (OTP) has begun a trip to Israel and the West Bank. Israel recently decided to allow the visit, something that had been in doubt previously (I've written here about the likely motives behind Israel's offer of limited cooperation).
New Zealand, an elected member of the UN Security Council, attempted recently to prod the Council into action in the Middle East. As violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has spiked, the Council has remained on the sidelines. Frustrated by the body's marginalization, New Zealand's diplomats last month circulated a draft resolution calling on the parties to end all provocations, resume negotiations, and hold accountable all those responsible for violence.
The idea of European prosecutors investigating military activity in other parts of the world scares the pants off of many US and Israeli policymakers. But right now, anyway, one person who should be watching European universal jurisdiction cases particularly closely is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
It’s summertime in Raqqa, but rather than learning arts and crafts or singing campfire songs, children at the Farouq Academy for Cubs—an indoctrination and training center run by the Islamic State—are busy practicing beheadings.