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Time To Sack ICC Prosecutor Khan

by Oui Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 09:34:35 AM EST

See my earlier diaries on lack of action by the ICC Prosecutor and image of partiality to favor the countries in the NATO alliance. How is the funding organized?

ICC Failure In Palestine, New Massacre In Gaza | 10 Oct. 2023 |

The ICC Palestinian challenge | JusticeInfo.Net - Sept. 15, 2023 |

Amid a new wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has already left  nearly 100 people dead since the beginning of the year, the International Criminal Court is still working on Palestine with regard to events since 2014.

In 2009, the Israeli army carried out a military offensive, Operation Cast Lead, in the Gaza Strip, claiming it was responding to rocket fire from Hamas, which controls that part of the Palestinian territory. Nearly 1,500 Palestinians (82% civilians) were killed, as well as three Israeli civilians and nine Israeli soldiers.


The PA engaged with the Court as early as 2009 by recognizing its jurisdiction, which Israel has not done to date. It was up to the ICC Prosecutor at the time, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to conduct a preliminary examination to determine whether the criteria were met under the Rome Statute to open an investigation

On 1 April 2015, Palestine officially became a State Party to the ICC and at the same time the new Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, opened a preliminary examination of the situation.

On 20 December 2019, Bensouda stated that all criteria were met to open an investigation and that there is "a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip".

Slow-walking the process to investigate Israeli war crimes in Palestine ...

ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I Issues its Decision on the Prosecutor's Request Related to Territorial Jurisdiction over Palestine | UN News - 5 Feb. 2021 |

Law Experts Question Impartiality of ICC's Karim Khan | 7 Dec. 2023 |

Over hundred scholars, practitioners of law, international law and politics have voiced serious concerns over the integrity of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In an open letter addressed to the assembly of State Parties published on December 6, legal scholars and experts raised alarm over what they perceive as a troubling erosion of impartiality and non-discrimination under the leadership of Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan. The signatories express concerns that the international community is currently witnessing questionable decisions on the situation in Palestine, marked by significant delays, a lack of responsiveness, and policies indicative of understaffing and under-resourcing.

The legal scholars questioned the purpose of Khan's visit, stating that the Prosecutor explicitly asserted that the visit that was carried out "without a publicly accessible agenda or transparent funding, is non-investigative," and mainly to "express sympathy and engage in dialogue," fell outside of his mandate as a prosecutor. "A lack of transparency also shrouded his subsequent visit to Ramallah. These raise serious concern about the OTP's commitment to its mandate underlying which are the principles of non- discrimination, and impartiality," the letter read.

The letter noted that the ICC prosecutor has insisted several times on describing Palestinian population and victims in Gaza as civilians "caught in the crossfire", seemingly concluding that the Israeli military's conduct of hostilities has respected the principles of "distinction" and "proportionality". This framing, the letter underscored, has formed the core of the Israeli official discourse since the 7 October, but also during the 2014 Gaza War.

ICC's Khan has been under severe criticism from human rights organization over what they said was a "prolonged delay" in Khan's direct engagement with victims, especially in Gaza.

Earlier protest ...

Dutch Civil Servants Urge Government to Act on Israel-Hamas Conflict | BNN - 21 Oct. 2023 |

International Criminal Court: Investigate These Israeli Suspects in War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity Probe | MEE - DAWN |

A US-based rights group has submitted a dossier to the International Criminal Court, calling on it to prosecute a list of 40 senior Israeli commanders for war crimes over their involvement in the country's military campaign in Gaza, which has so far killed more than 20,000 Palestinians.

Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn), a rights organisation founded by Jamal Khashoggi, who was a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post and Middle East Eye, filed the submission and called on the ICC to investigate what it said were the "prime suspects" in Israel's war on Gaza.

"These 40 IDF commanders who have been responsible for planning, ordering, and executing Israel's indiscriminate bombardment, wanton destruction, and mass killing of civilians in Gaza should be prime suspects in any ICC investigation," Sarah Leah Whitson, Dawn's executive director, said in a statement.

"While Israel has done its best to conceal the identities of many of its officers, they should be put on notice that they face individual criminal liability for the crimes under way in Gaza."

Dawn's list includes Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallantn, the Israeli military's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Ghassan Alian, and the commander of the 215th Artillery Brigade Ehud Bibi. The rights group said it would continue to publicly release the names of all 40 commanders on its list submitted to the court in the coming month.

Was proposed by PM Boris Johnson ahead of the hostilities Ukraine War ...

I think Karim is the best man for the job ...
Karim understands I'm the best man to advise him ... another circle squared 😠

CMS professor gets special role in war crimes investigations | UCOH - 29 Nov. 2023 |

The four Special Adviser positions for the core crimes (War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide, and Aggression) are considered to be among the most important at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Kevin Jon Heller is the second person in the history of the Court to be appointed Special Adviser on War Crimes.

"Professionally, the position gives me a unique opportunity to participate in the work of the only permanent international criminal court ever established. The ICC investigates some of the most brutal conflict situations around the world - Ukraine, Palestine, Afghanistan, Darfur, Libya," he mentions, and then elaborates:

"A significant number of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have been and continue to be committed in these situations. The Office of the Prosecutor cannot bring justice to all the victims of these crimes, but it can bring justice to some of them. Being Special Adviser means I can use my legal expertise to help advance this important work."

Has the utmost respect for the Prosecutor

Personally, Kevin Jon Heller will have the opportunity to advise a prosecutor for whom he has the utmost respect: Karim Khan KC.

Searching for the procedure choice ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan ... an eye sore 🤨

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 01:27:27 PM EST
The Perils of Reducing International Lawyers to Their Nationality: A Response to Vamos-Goldman | OpinioJuris - 26 Feb. 2021 |

By Kevin Jon Heller

Andras Vamos-Goldman has a long post today at Just Security criticising the UK's recent adoption of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, which will make it considerably more difficult for British courts to prosecute soldiers who commit international crimes overseas or to hear civil actions brought by the victims of such crimes.

He also decries in general the lack of commitment a number of powerful democracies have shown to international criminal justice, singling out for special opprobrium -- not surprisingly -- the Trump administration's sanctions against ICC officials like Fatou Bensouda.

I wholeheartedly agree with Vamos-Goldman's criticisms of the UK's and the US's recent actions. But he makes two claims in his post that I find deeply problematic. The first concerns the recent election of Karim Khan to be the third Prosecutor of the ICC:

    For all those in the international community concerned with international justice, not noticing the passage of this Bill on the day of the 2020 US presidential elections is one thing. But there can be no excuse for not knowing, understanding, or caring about its negative implications when the same Boris Johnson government had a national competing for perhaps the most important and visible international criminal justice position in the world: Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). UK Barrister Karim Khan has now been elected. The result is that the states parties to the ICC have rewarded a country that is undermining international justice. And some of the other players in the international community let it happen, without raising their voices.

There is no question the UK is pleased the next Prosecutor will be British. But I reject the idea that the international community should have insisted the Prosecutor not be the national of a state that has recently undermined international criminal justice, lest that state be "rewarded" for its actions.

From 2014 ...

The International Criminal Court's Palestine Problem | UN Dispatch - 7 Aug. 2014 |

The Palestinian Authority may ask to join the International Criminal Court, potentially paving the way for war crimes charges to be brought against both Israelis and Palestinians. Mark speaks with international law expert Kevin Jon Heller about the legal and political consequences of a potential ICC investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 01:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SA submits ICC documentation to lay complaint against Israel, 18 Dec

DAWN submitted to a list of 40 Israeli commanding officers who executed Gaza assault, 20 Dec

Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti have also sent referrals to the prosecutor. SA.gov has not posted PR. The ICC has not acknowledged receipts since 17 Nov.

by Cat on Fri Dec 22nd, 2023 at 08:34:43 PM EST
Israel sued for 'genocide' in The Hague, 29 Dec
South Africa has filed an appeal before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, alleging that Israeli actions in Gaza amount to "genocide" and asking for "provisional measures" to stop it, the top UN court announced on Friday.

The application claims "acts and omissions by Israel... are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent ... to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group," the ICJ said in a statement.
South Africa also asked the ICJ to "indicate provisional measures" in order to "protect against further, severe and irreparable harm" to Palestinians under the Genocide Convention. The ICJ also published the 84-page document that lists these measures in detail, first of which is for Israel to "immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza."

Pretoria also demands of West Jerusalem to stop any and all attacks on Palestinians, and to revoke any orders whose goal is "the expulsion and forced displacement from their homes" or deprivation of access to food, water, fuel, shelter, medical supplies and other humanitarian needs.

Anyone who engages in "direct and public incitement" to genocide or conspiracy to commit it must be brought to justice, the appeal insists. South Africa demanded Israel submit a report on complying with all these demands within one week.

Under the ICJ's rules, South Africa's application has priority over all other cases, because of the request for provisional measures.

by Cat on Fri Dec 29th, 2023 at 07:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Republic of South Africa institutes proceedings against the State of Israel and requests the Court to indicate provisional measures

To the Registrar of the International Court of Justice, the undersigned, being duly authorised by the Government of the Republic of South Africa, state as follows:


  1. The facts relied on by South Africa in this application and to be further developed in these proceedings establish that -- against a background of apartheid, expulsion, ethnic cleansing, annexation, occupation, discrimination, and the ongoing denial of the right of the Palestinian people to self- determination -- Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide. More gravely still, Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza. Those acts include killing them, causing them serious mental and bodily harm and deliberately inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction as a group. Repeated statements by Israeli State representatives, including at the highest levels, by the Israeli President, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence express genocidal intent. That intent is also properly to be inferred from the nature and conduct of Israel's military operation in Gaza, having regard inter alia to Israel's failure to provide or ensure essential food, water, medicine, fuel, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for the besieged and blockaded Palestinian people, which has pushed them to the brink of famine. It is also clear from the nature, scope and extent of Israel's military attacks on Gaza, which have involved the sustained bombardment over more than 11 weeks of one of the most densely populated places in the world, forcing the evacuation of 1.9 million people or 85% of the population of Gaza from their homes and herding them into ever smaller areas, without adequate shelter, in which they continue to be attacked, killed and harmed. Israel has now killed in excess of 21,110 named Palestinians, including over 7,729 children -- with over 7,780 others missing, presumed dead under the rubble -- and has injured over 55,243 other Palestinians, causing them severe bodily and mental harm. Israel has also laid waste to vast areas of Gaza, including entire neighbourhoods, and has damaged or destroyed in excess of 355,000 Palestinian homes, alongside extensive tracts of agricultural land, bakeries, schools, universities, businesses, places of worship, cemeteries, cultural and archaeological sites, municipal and court buildings, and critical infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities and electricity networks, while pursuing a relentless assault on the Palestinian medical and healthcare system. Israel has reduced and is continuing to reduce Gaza to rubble, killing, harming and destroying its people, and creating conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction as a group.

  2. South Africa, mindful of the jus cogens character of the prohibition of genocide and the erga omnes and erga omnes partes character of the obligations owed by States under the Genocide Convention, is making the present application to establish Israel's responsibility for violations of the Genocide Convention; to hold it fully accountable under international law for those violations; and -- most immediately -- to have recourse to this Court to ensure the urgent and fullest possible protection for Palestinians in Gaza who remain at grave and immediate risk of continuing and further acts of genocide.

  3. In light of the extraordinary urgency of the situation, South Africa seeks an expedited hearing for its request for the indication of provisional measures. In addition, pursuant to Article 74(4) of the Rules of Court, South Africa requests the President of the Court to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza by calling upon Israel immediately to halt all military attacks that constitute or give rise to violations of the Genocide Convention pending the holding of such hearing, so as to enable any order the Court may make on the request for the indication of provisional measures to have its appropriate effects. To that end, the Court should order Israel to cease killing and causing serious mental and bodily harm to Palestinian people in Gaza, to cease the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction as a group, to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to genocide, and to rescind related policies and practices, including regarding the restriction on aid and the issuing of evacuation directives.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 29th, 2023 at 08:46:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

My earlier post ...

RIP Poet and Academic Dr. Refaat in Gaza

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:23:06 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I can live: After Dr. Refaat Alareer (1979-Dec. 7, 2023) | Mondoweiss |

The following poem was written by Dr. Melissa Castillo Planas in response to Dr. Alareer's poem 'If I Must Die, Let it be a Tale,' and read at the event to honor Dr. Alareer at the CUNY Graduate Center, December 15, 2023.

    As I can live
let me never unsee 
children burying their 
mothers, fathers, siblings
let me never unsee parents & 
grandparents burying 
children that should have buried 
let me never unsee hospitals, 
schools, universities
homes, archives, memories 
knowledge, history turned into 
nothing but grey rubble
let me never unsee men publicly 
stripped & paraded in their underwear 
let me never unsee the pregnant & menstruating 
women with nothing to clean 
& let me never unsee the tik tok 
videos of Israelis celebrating 
mass civilian murder 
& mocking Palestinian humanity.

    As I can live 
let me never unhear
the wail of a Palestinian doctor
at work when her lifeless daughter
was wheeled past her
let me never unhear the cries 
of children undergoing
surgeries without anesthesia
let me never unhear the pain of a father
    holding the blown apart pieces of a son 
in a plastic bag
let me never unhear the rumblings of stomachs 
that have not been feed
the cracking of journalist voices
who have not had water 
the Palestinians prayers 
for their families 
let me never unhear
the press conference of children
pleading to live
the nightmares of children 
pleading to dream 
& let me never unhear the sound
of bombs laced with genocidal words 
of Israeli leadership 
and the international silences 
that killed them.

    As I can live,
let me never unsmell 
the wonder of fresh air
the warmth of Palestinian food 
full of spices, fresh olive oil
friendship & love 
and remember all they
smell is death
the decomposing of bodies 
not given the dignity of a proper

    But most of all,
As we can live 
let us never unsee, unhear, unknow
the bravery of grieving families
turn to help others
the medics who stayed to die
with their patients
the journalists who used their last
breath to upload a report 
and the poets who died 
to bring us hope,
to be a tale. 

    -Melissa Castillo 
     Dec. 8, 2023

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 27th, 2023 at 10:32:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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