The International Criminal Court’s authorization of an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan represents the culmination of a complex debate over the law and politics of a probe into the court’s most powerful and persistent critic.
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The decision will likely have far-reaching implications for the institutional legitimacy of the court, its relationship with the United States and potential future cases.
Over three days of hearings, the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber considered whether to overturn an April 2019 decision blocking investigations into alleged war crimes by the Taliban and U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The ICC prosecutor’s determination of jurisdiction relies on a controversial and legally problematic recognition of Palestinian statehood.
The Office of the Attorney General for the state of Israel released a detailed memorandum to explain why the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over Palestine. The memo argues that Palestine has failed to meet the necessary precondition of possessing criminal jurisdiction over its territory since a sovereign Palestinian state does not exist at this time. The memo is available here and below.
The International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber has released its decision in the appeal of Omar al-Bashir, finding in a split ruling that Jordan should have arrested al-Bashir during his visit to the country in 2017 but that Jordan should not be referred to the United Nations for sanction over its failure to do so.
On April 4, the United States revoked the visa of International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda over her investigation of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The ICC recently rejected that request, though the ban still presumably remains in place and marks an escalation in tensions between the Trump administration and the ICC.
On Friday, a panel of three International Criminal Court judges rejected the request of the court's Prosecutor to investigate "the situation" in Afghanistan, including alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. military and CIA.
The U.S. Names the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a Terrorist Organization and Sanctions the International Criminal Court
On April 8, the Trump administration designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A few days earlier, the administration had made good on its threat to impose sanctions on officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) involved in the examination of U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Israeli actions in other contexts. As part of this effort, it revoked the U.S. visa of Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor.
Sovereignty on Steroids: International Institutions and the Trump Administration’s “Ideology of Patriotism”
President Donald Trump’s Sept. 25 speech to the U.N. General Assembly surprised few with its condemnation and dismissal of international institutions—from the World Trade Organization, to the U.N. Human Rights Council, to the International Criminal Court.