UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

ICC misleads about the “Situation in Palestine”

UKLFI has written to Peter Lewis, Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to complain about the wording in the “Situation in Palestine” page of the ICC website. The website wrongly implies that the ICC has already decided that it has jurisdiction in “Palestine”, that there is an occupied Palestinian Territory, and that this includes East Jerusalem.

The text appears to have been uploaded pursuant to the dispositif contained in Pre-Trial Chamber I’s “Decision on Information and Outreach for the Victims of the Situation” dated 13 July 2018. On 13 July 2018 the Pre Trial Chamber I (PTCI) ordered the Registry to create an informative page on the Court’s website “especially directed to the victims in the situation in Palestine”.  This Decision was robustly criticised, for appearing to prejudge critical issues. UKLFI’s letter observes that the text uploaded to the website repeats this error.

UKLFI has requested that the text on the ICC website is amended, so that affected communities are not misled by a perception that the Court has improperly predetermined issues that are sub iudice.

UKLFI warns that if the Registry fails to amend the text of the website, it will be in breach of Article 68(3) of the Rome Statute, which requires the Court to ensure that victims’ views and concerns are considered in a manner which is not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and impartial trial.

UKLFI submits that by effectively inviting affected communities to disregard the jurisdictional issues raised by the Situation in Palestine, and by implicitly presuming that a preliminary examination will proceed to an investigation, the Registry is acting ultra vires the Rome Statute.

The full text of the letter is here:   Letter to ICC Registrar 15.11.18

 

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