International Criminal Court
Israeli and U.S influence suspected in leaning on the ICC to acquit suspected war criminals, in order to create a precedent that will protect offenders
Phyllis Bennis: In a vote of 138 to 9, UN General Assembly votes to give Palestine status of a non-member state
On Tuesday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it has finally reached a decision to reject the the Palestinian request to join. If it were accepted it would not only give the Palestinian Authority (PA) the possibility of inviting the ICC to prosecute Israelis or Palestinians accused of war crimes, Genocide, or crimes against humanity, but would have also forced the ICC to establish whether the Palestinian territories constitute a state. In 2009, shortly after the PA filed this request, following the Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in Operation Cast Lead, The Real News spoke to Fatou Bensouda, the Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC about the case.
At the end of August prosecutors from international tribunals such as those in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and the Fmr. Yugoslavia met in Jamestown, NY for the 2010 International Humanitarian Law Dialogues. The discussion this year focused on the June review conference of the International Criminal Court in Kampala, Uganda. The conference has been long awaited since the establishment of the court in 1998. The main issue was the definition of the crime of aggression. Now defined, it awaits ratification, postponed to 2017. If the International Criminal Court is given jurisdiction to prosecute it, it would essentially make all acts of aggressive war (that is not self-defense) illegal. However, pressures from major military powers such as the US ensured the definition of the crime allowed for any state to opt out of it being used against them. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky spoke with Benjamin B. Ferencz who attended the Kampala conference in Jamestown and retired South African judge Richard Goldstone about the crime of aggression and the fight to include it into the International Criminal Court.