Middle East

[Craig Martin is a Professor of Law and Co-Director of the International and Comparative Law Center, at Washburn University School of Law. He is a frequent visiting lecturer at Osaka University, Graduate School of Law and Politics.] In the wake of the recent attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf, there has been considerable discussion about Europe’s difficult position amidst the escalating tension between the United States...

[Steven Kay QC is Head of Chambers at 9 Bedford Row. He has appeared as leading counsel in many significant international criminal trials (Tadic, Milosevic, Musema, Gotovina, Kenyatta) – and represented heads of state and leading figures at UN tribunals and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Joshua Kern is a barrister at 9 Bedford Row. He specialises in complex criminal cases with an emphasis on international and transnational criminal...

As I have discussed before, in March 2018 the Presidency curiously dissolved the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC III) that had been dealing with the Afghanistan situation for six months and assigned that situation to a new PTC. Judge Mindua remained part of the new PTC (PTC II), while Judges Chung and Pangalangan were replaced by two newly-elected judges, Akane and Aitala....

As expected, the OTP has asked the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to grant leave to appeal its refusal to authorise the Afghanistan investigation. I'm in Kiev and don't have as much time to write as I'd like, so I just want to offer a few quick thoughts on the OTP's motion, which seeks appeal on three interrelated issues. First, I think it's...

[Benjamin K. Nussberger is the Head Coach of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and a research fellow at the Institute for International Peace and Security Law in Cologne. You can find him on Twitter @bknussberger] In times of growing tension between Iran, and the US and Saudi-Arabia, it is as...

[Mohamed S. Helal is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Mortiz College of Law and an Affiliated Faculty with the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. This is the second part of a two-part post; the first can be found here.] Second: Resisting Iranian Regional Policies and Responding to Indirect Iranian Aggression The U.S. National Defense Strategy states that “Iran is competing with its...

[Mohamed S. Helal is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Mortiz College of Law and an Affiliated Faculty with the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. This is the first part of a two-part post.] Over the past weeks, tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf. On May 5, 2019, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that “in response to a number of troubling and...

I thought I was done blogging about the Pre-Trial Chamber's authorization decision, but there is another aspect of it that keeps nagging at me: the limits PTC II would have imposed on the OTP's investigation if it had authorized it. Here are the key paragraphs (emphasis mine): 40. More specifically, the precise width and breadth of the Prosecutor's power to investigate...

I have been thinking more about how the OTP can appeal the Pre-Trial Chamber's refusal to authorize the Afghanistan investigation. I was perhaps a bit too dour in my assessment of whether the Appeals Chamber is likely to get the chance to reverse a decision that I consider fundamentally flawed. The most obvious option would be to seek leave to appeal the...

In my previous post, I defended the right of the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to review  the OTP's assessment of whether there were, to quote Art. 53(1)(c) of the Rome Statute, "substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice." In this post, I want to explain why I think the PTC got that review completely,...

Dov Jacobs has a typically excellent post at Spreading the Jam on the PTC's decision to reject the Afghanistan investigation. I agree with nearly all of it, but I do take issue with this comment: First of all, and perhaps most importantly, the exercise that the Pre-Trial Chamber did is most likely ultra vires. Indeed, Article 53(1)(c) is very clear that...