The Guardian’s Remarkable Lack of Concern for Accuracy

by Kevin Jon Heller

I love the Guardian. It’s generally a great paper. But its unwillingness to correct even the most basic mistakes constantly amazes me. In an otherwise interesting article about the ICC and environmental crimes, John Vidal and Owen Bowcott — the Guardian‘s environment editor and legal affairs correspondent, respectively — say this (emphasis mine):

The ICC can take action if the crime happens in any of the 139 countries that have signed up to the Rome Statute, if the perpetrator originates from one of these countries, or if the UN security council refers a case to it. Crimes must have taken place after the Rome statue came into force on 1 July 2002.

This is just wrong. Unequivocally wrong. 139 states have signed the Rome Statute, but only 124 have ratified or acceded to it. The ICC has territorial and active-nationality jurisdiction only over the latter.

I tweeted the correction to John Vidal. He’s ignored it — for reasons that are beyond me, given that it would take a web editor 10 seconds to correct. But perhaps Owen Bowcott is to blame: a few years ago he not only refused to correct his blatant mistake concerning the ICTY’s holding in Perisic regarding specific direction, he repeated his mistake in a later article on Charles Taylor.

http://opiniojuris.org/2016/09/16/the-guardians-remarkable-lack-of-concern-for-accuracy/

3 Responses

  1. Also, which “statue” in Rome came into force on 1 July 2002?

  2. The Editor is probably like you. The only difference is that you do not ignore comments which are not to your liking but pass caustic comments in reply.

  3. I have read a number of articles recently claiming that the ICC is suffering from fiscal limitations
    If that is correct, I wonder how the ICC can expand its scope of operations without its current areas of operation suffering as a consequence

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