Good Luck with the ICC, Muslim Brotherhood (Updated)

by Kevin Jon Heller

So this is baffling:

The international legal team representing the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court, reported state-owned media agency MENA.

The team has previously said on 16 August and on 15 November that, following their investigations, they have gathered evidence showing that members of the “military, police and political members of the military regime have committed crimes against humanity”.

[snip]

The Brotherhood’s legal team includes former Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales Lord Ken MacDonald, South African International Lawyer and former UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Professor John Dugard and human rights specialist Michael Mansfield.

A press conference will be held in London on Monday to detail further information concerning the complaint.

I hope the press conference will explain how the ICC has jurisdiction over the situation, given that Egypt has not ratified the Rome Statute. Doesn’t the Brotherhood’s capable legal team know that?

UPDATE: Gidon Shaviv suggests on Twitter that perhaps the Brotherhood will argue that it can accept the ICC’s jurisdiction on an ad hoc basis, because it remains the legitimate government of Egypt. That’s clever, but I would be shocked if the OTP would be willing to wade into that particular political thicket. If it refused to accept Palestine’s ad hoc acceptance, which I think would have been legally more straightforward (Shaviv disagrees), I think there is no chance it would accept the Brotherhood’s.

http://opiniojuris.org/2014/01/03/good-luck-icc-muslim-brotherhood/

5 Responses

  1. Common Lawyers. Sigh.
    Their own fault.

  2. Regarding your update, I think there is an interesting parallel to the Ivory Coast, though Ouattara ultimately had to reconfirm jurisdiction once he was firmly in power and then the ICC kicked off its investigation there (and Gbagbo already had accepted jurisdiction as well). I had often thought that would be the way to try to get the ICC involved in Syria. . . 

  3. Most likely the Muslim Brotherhood assesses a filing to the ICC as a good way to cast repression by the government in terms of violation of universally recognised human rights, as opposed to the government’s narrative of counter-terrorism. Whether or not the ICC ultimately accepts jurisdiction is probably besides the point.

  4. Rob,

    Completely agree.

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