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The Situation in Afghanistan, US Sanctions and the Historical Narratives Emerging from the ICC

On 11 June 2020, the US announced a series of economic and travel sanctions against any officials of the ICC involved in an investigation into whether US forces committed war crimes related to the Afghan conflict (see here). The ICC Appeals Chamber had previously authorised the ICC Prosecutor to commence such an investigation (see here) and these sanctions are aimed at scuppering any attempt at investigating the actions of US forces. Previous discussions on this topic may also be found here. Given the geopolitical forces at play and the dependence of the ICC on the cooperation of States for effective investigations, evidence and prosecutions, it is likely (if unfortunate) that the US will succeed in disrupting effective investigations into the possible involvement of US forces. The exclusion of one of the key “sides” to the Afghan conflict will naturally raise questions of victor’s justice. As a secondary, but important, consideration, it will also have implications for the historical narratives about the conflict emerging from the ICC.

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The Monetary Gold Doctrine and the ICC: Can the ICC determine the Territorial Boundaries of Israel and Palestine?

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been engaged in a Preliminary Examination of the situation in Palestine since January 2015. By December 2019, the Prosecutor had come to the conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been, or are being, committed on territory of Palestine, and that the other…

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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part II

In Part Two of this blog, I turn to the second of the Prosecutor’s arguments in favour of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction with regard to the “Situation in Palestine”. This is that Palestine is a State irrespective of its status as a party to the Statute. However, the Prosecutor seeks to nuance her position by arguing that Palestine…

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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part I

On 30 April 2020, the ICC Prosecutor issued her Response to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States  in the “Situation in the State of Palestine” matter. This has brought into focus a substantial debate as to what constitutes a State. There had been contributions submitted by 33 amici (including the…

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‘Oops, we misplaced the keys…too bad!’: The International Criminal Court and the fiasco of Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba’s compensation claim

Background On 18 May 2020, over a year after Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo filed a claim at the International Criminal Court (the Court) seeking compensation for alleged miscarriage of justice and for alleged destruction and damage caused to his property, the Pre-Trial Chamber dismissed the application. Mr Bemba was charged in 2008 with…

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