Panel of Experts Publishes Report Supporting ICC Arrest Warrant Applications for Crimes in Israel and Palestine

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A Panel of Experts in International Law convened by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan KC, today announced its conclusions. The Panel was established at the Prosecutor’s request in support of his investigation into the ‘Situation in the State of Palestine’, which covers international crimes committed either on the territory of Palestine or by a Palestinian national. The Panel’s mandate was to advise the Prosecutor on whether his applications for arrest warrants met the standard provided in Article 58 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Panel members unanimously endorsed the Prosecutor’s assessment that the Court had jurisdiction over the case and that there were ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that individuals named in the arrest warrants — including senior leaders of Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court.

The Panel was comprised of the following experts: Lord Justice Fulford, former Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and former Judge at the International Criminal Court; Judge Theodor Meron CMG, Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, Honorary Fellow, Trinity College, and former Judge and former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Amal Clooney, Barrister, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School and Co-Founder of the Clooney Foundation for Justice; Danny Friedman KC, Barrister, expert in criminal law, international law and human rights; Baroness Helena Kennedy LT KC, Barrister, Member of the House of Lords and Director of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute; and Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG KC, former Deputy Legal Adviser at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Distinguished Fellow of International Law at Chatham House. They were assisted by academic advisers Professor Marko Milanovic, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading School of Law and Professor Sandesh Sivakumaran, Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge.

See here for the Statement of the ICC Prosecutor.

See here for the Panel’s oped in the Financial Times.

See here for the Panel’s legal Report.

See here for Amal Clooney’s Statement.


For any further inquiries please contact OTPNewsDesk {at} icc-cpi(.)int.

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Marty Lederman says

May 20, 2024

Amal, Marko: Thank you for your work on this important matter, and for posting this.

A couple of questions:

i. Paragraph 31 of the Report states that "[t]he Panel’s assessment is that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Netanyahu and Gallant are responsible for the killing of civilians who died as a result of starvation, *either* because the suspects meant these deaths to happen *or* because they were aware that deaths would occur in the ordinary course of events as a result of their methods of warfare."

Is the latter alternative--"awareness"--legally sufficient, even if there was no intent? And what evidence is the Prosecutor relying upon for the former alternative, i.e., that Netanyahu & Gallant *intended* civilian deaths by starvation?

ii. Paragraphs 29 & 31 further indicate the panel's support for the allegation that Netanyahu & Gallant are responsible for "attacks on civilians gathering to obtain food and on humanitarian workers," which "involved the severe deprivation of victims’ fundamental rights by reason of their identity as Palestinians" and thus "can be qualified as the crime against humanity of persecution." Can you offer more information about the evidence supporting the "attacks" allegations?

Thanks again.

Neil garnet ferguson says

May 20, 2024

Brilliant news

Prof. Eleanor Stein, Esq says

May 20, 2024

This is an historic contribution to the global movement against impunity for genocide in Gaza and for the rule of law. The panel is to be congratulated!

Nicolas Boeglin says

May 20, 2024

Dear Professors Clooney and Milanovic

Thank you very much for this very useful report and congratulations to both of you for a such a well done job.

Israel's defense before the ICJ on May 17, last Friday, was so poor and so puzzling that it may have just ended to convince some of your colleagues within the ICC.

Again my thanks to both of you for joining this select group of jurists to provide guidance to the ICC and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor.

Yours sincerely

Nicolas Boeglin

Note: I am sharing with you a note (in French and Spanish, sorry) on the hearings in The Hague on May 16-17, in the case opposing South Africa to Israel:

Mehmet Sukru says

May 20, 2024

For the Section C. Crimes and applicable law paragraph 13. c) There is a belligerent occupation by Israel of at least some Palestinian territory, the definition of the Palestinian territory is wrong in the Report of the Panel of Experts in International Law.
The Palestinian territory is admitted to the UN in 1949 as a reserved territory for the future Palestine State under the State definition of the UN Charter Article 2.4 when Israel admitted to the UN. And the territory of the Palestine is afterwards entered territorial integrity protection subject to Article 4 of the UN Charter.
Here are the details: