International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Palestinians Hope to Fast-track Suits Against Israel in the ICC

According to the Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, the Palestinian Government is urging the ICC to speed up their investigations of the events that happened in Palestinian territories as of June 13, 2014. Originally the ICC prosecutor had said that the investigation, which had begun in January of 2015, would take some time. Palestine’s hope is that Israel will be charged with war crimes. Since the UN Security Council is the only group that has the power to suspend or delay investigations, Palestine has begun talking to prominent members such as China and Russia to avoid a U.S.A. veto that could halt investigations. Palestine feels as though their recent membership to the ICC is a weapon they can use against Israel and are very willing to comply with the ICC in this case.

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2 responses to “Palestinians Hope to Fast-track Suits Against Israel in the ICC

  1. oconnorg April 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Although the Palestinian case is fairly new to the ICC, I wonder whether the high profile and broad news coverage this case has received will cause the international community to offer enough real support to make this push for expedience a reality. In other cases, particularly the case of Darfur, the ICC has been frustrated in its efforts due to lackluster support from the international community, on whom it relies to provide military enforcement and to take initiative in making arrests. In the case of Palestine, it is possible that the court will receive more international aid in its efforts to enact justice simply because the case is very public and has gained the attention of many major international powers. If the Palestine case were to achieve this fast-tracking of suits in the ICC, it would speak volumes about the actual capabilities of the ICC as an autonomous institution, and would prove how heavily the ICC relies on international actors for support. It might also indicate a slight propensity on the part of the ICC to prosecute cases that receive more international attention over cases that do not, and therefore would indicate a slight degree of politicization within the court. In other words, the Court wants to take on cases it can conceivably win, and it cannot do so without the support of international actors. In order to garner the support of international actors, the Court has been forced to take on cases that are appealing in some way or another to one or many international actors.

  2. swashington April 7, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Although I see the point that the high profile of this case could push the case forward, I actually see the opposite happening. The politicization of this situation before it even became a “case” means that many influential countries such as the U.S. have specific views and goals that influence how much they interfere in the conflict. What seems more likely to me because of this is that the ICC will face more difficulty in gaining international support and aid while trying to remain impartial, because states have particular, highly politicized, views on the case. For the Court to “win” this case, what stance would they have to take and who would they gain as an ally or alienate by doing so? I completely agree that this case is appealing to many international actors, but I think that that will result in conflicting responses instead of support across the board. As stated in this Justice in Conflict article (http://justiceinconflict.org/2015/04/02/the-icc-in-palestine-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/) , the ICC has also historically shown little desire in situations where major superpowers are “watching their behavior”. Because of the large stakes and the interest of these major superpowers, the ICC will have to be extremely careful in how they proceed in order to not alienate important partners, and so they will probably extend the investigation on for as long as possible.

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