Middle East

[Álvaro Rueda Rodríguez-Vila is a graduate in law (Bachelor, UNED) and in human rights (LL.M., Maastricht University).] On February 4, 2021 the International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) rendered its decision on the Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v United Arab Emirates) (here). In this decision, the Court ruled...

[Katayoun Hosseinnejad is a visiting lecturer of international law at Allameh Tabataba’i University and senior researcher at Bulan Institute for Peace Innovations (@katayoonhnejad).] [Pouria Askary is an associate professor of international law at Allameh Tabataba’i University (@askarypouria).] On 3 February 2021, the ICJ for the third and the last time reviewed the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights between...

Asser Khattab is a Research and Communications Officer and Vito Todeschini a Legal Adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, Middle East and North Africa Programme. On 15 March 2011, dozens of Syrians took to the street in the busy center of the country’s capital, Damascus, to protest against decades of repression, human rights violations and authoritarian rule by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Syria’s...

As readers no doubt know, Fatou Bensouda announced yesterday that the OTP is opening a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine. Doing so was a foregone conclusion, given the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent decision that the ICC has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Regardless, even if the bulk of the work will fall...

Few things bother me more than journalists who seemingly cannot be bothered to accurately describe what the ICC does. Here is what Isabel Kershner, a Jerusalem correspondent for the New York Times, wrote about the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent decision that the Court has jurisdiction over the situation in Palestine (my emphasis): Dealing a severe diplomatic blow to Israel, the court ruled...

[Dov Jacobs, Joshua Kern and Daniel Reisner appear as amici curiae on behalf of the IJL in the ongoing proceedings before Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC in the Situation in Palestine. The IJL Brief before PTC I is available here. The Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision remains sub iudice.] On 19 November 2020, it was reported that the Palestinian Authority will resume civil and...

[Clive Baldwin is a Senior Legal Advisor for the legal and policy office at Human Rights Watch.] UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK armed forces subjected Iraqi detainees to abuse,...

In my previous post, which was quite critical of the OTP's decision not to seek authorization to investigate British war crimes in Iraq, I made two central points. The first was that, pursuant to the Afghanistan appeals judgment, the OTP would not have needed to present the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) with information concerning complementarity and the PTC would not have...

[Andreas Schueller is the Director of the International Crimes and Accountability Program at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.] On 9 December 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague announced its decision to close the preliminary examination into alleged war crimes by British troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. The OTP explained...

A number of us -- me, Aurel Sari, Eliav Lieblich, Andrew Bell, Sasha Greenawalt, Craig Martin, Ed Swaine -- have been having an interesting discussion on Twitter about two important issues concerning the use of force. The first is when IHL begins to apply in an IAC. The traditional position is that any use of interstate force triggers IHL and...

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of giving an online lecture for the Iranian Center for International Criminal Law about the relationship between the US and the ICC. In the lecture, I trace the evolution of the US-ICC relationship and try to predict what that relationship will look like under President Biden. I also speculate about why Trump has...