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.
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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.