Can the Vatican Be Subject to ICC Prosecution?
Well, the Center for Constitutional Rights certainly thinks so
Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.
The formal filing of nearly 80 pages by two American advocacy groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests.
The actual CCR filing can be found here. I think there are massive jurisdictional issues here, as well as substantive issue related to the ICC’s jurisdiction. I’m not quite buying that the abuse scandals constitute a “widespread or systemic attack directed at a civilian population.” But CCR lawyers are very good (if a little radical, but maybe that’s why they are good). I still am predicting no court action on this. But CCR has already gotten most of what they want out of this filing, in terms of media coverage and public awareness.