Several news outlets are reporting on conciliatory signals from the Palestinian Authority regarding negotiations with Israel. One key gesture is a temporary deemphasis on pursuing Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC). As Bloomberg reports:
Latest in International Criminal Court (ICC)
Editor's note: This piece originally appeared in Markaz.
The chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun earlier this month has led to renewed calls for members of the Assad regime to face justice. Boris Johnson and Jean-Marc Ayrault recently wrote in The Guardian, for example, “there will be no impunity.”
In a February Lawfare post, David Bosco analyzed the different possible US responses to the pending decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor on whether to open an investigation into US detention practices and alleged torture in Afghanistan.
The Jerusalem Post published yesterday a lengthy profile of Israel’s Military Advocate-General, Sharon Afek. The article notes that Afek will have a key role in shaping Israel’s posture toward the International Criminal Court (ICC), which in 2015 opened a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine.
On February 13, Kim Jong-nam—the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un—was killed at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian investigators have determined that two women, who have since been charged with murder, used VX nerve agent—a chemical weapon—in the assassination. Attribution has not yet been confirmed, but Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has directly blamed North Korea (DPRK) for the assassination. In addition, U.S.
For the first time, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is poised to open an investigation that explicitly includes alleged crimes by U.S. personnel, setting up a possible confrontation between the United States and the court. Specifically, the ICC prosecutor is preparing to launch a full investigation in Afghanistan that will scrutinize U.S.
Rebecca Hamilton (who, I’m pleased to say, has just joined my faculty, Washington College of Law, American University, in areas of international law and national security) has an article on international criminal law (ICL) appearing in the new issue of the Yale Journal of International Law, titled “State-Enabled Crimes” (SSRN link here).
Reuters is reporting that Israeli officials are speaking with the prosector of the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding its preliminary examination in Palestine. Israel is not an ICC member and has argued that Palestine has no standing to join the court or grant it jurisdiction. But Israeli officials have decided—correctly, in my view—that communication with the prosecutor is the best strategy for now:
I've written here previously on the possible activation of the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Twenty-eight of the requisite thirty countries have now ratified the amendments agreed to at the 2010 Kampala conference. It appears likely that the additional ratifications will arrive in a matter of months (Iceland, the Netherlands, Chile, and Senegal are among the countries that may push the amendment over the finish line).
Potential Implications of CENTCOM’s MSF Investigation on the ICC’s Preliminary Examination of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan
This morning, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) released its formal report of investigation into the airstrike on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Of note in the report is a finding that the “aircrew’s failure to exercise judgement . . .