Middle East

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...

I will write a longer post tonight criticising the PTC's understanding of the "interests of justice," but I thought I'd start by cutting to the legal chase: can the OTP appeal the PTC's decision to reject its request to investigate the situation in Afghanistan? As I read the Rome Statute, I don't think so. Here is the text of the relevant...

[Kingsley Abbott is the International Commission of Jurists' Senior Legal Adviser for Global Redress and Accountability & Saman Zia-Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists. This is the second part of a two-part post. Part I can be found here.]   Some important questions In the previous installment we raised some of the arguments in favor of creating...

[Kingsley Abbott is the International Commission of Jurists' Senior Legal Adviser for Global Redress and Accountability & Saman Zia-Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists. This is the first part of a two-part post.] Introduction The International Independent Investigative Mechanism for Syria and the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar are recent examples of States responding to situations where...

[Victor Kattan is a Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law. This is the second part of a two-part post.] To understand how the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) could make a sovereignty claim before 1967, we need to rewind the clock to the last...

[Victor Kattan is a Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law. This is the first part of a two-part post.]  One of the concerns that arose from US President Donald Trump’s Proclamation recognising the occupied Golan Heights – captured from Syria in the June...

[Emma Irving is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Law, Leiden University and Nicholas Ortiz is a Research and Teaching Associate at the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law.] On 18 March 2019, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (‘CoI’) published its detailed findings of its...

Last week, the excellent lawyers at The Guernica Group, led by my friend Toby Cadman, filed an Article 15 communication with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) arguing that the ICC should open an investigation into the deportation of civilians from Syria to Jordan. The communication itself is not public, so what we know of TGG's legal argument comes from their...

[Alexandra Lily Kather is a Legal Advisor at ECCHR’s International Crimes and Accountability Program. Anne Schroeter is a Legal Advisor at ECCHR’s International Crimes and Accountability Program. This post represents the personal views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. This is Part II of a two-part post.] This change of course...