Palestine and the International Criminal Court institutional failure or bias?

25 Apr 2014

The International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s selection of ‘situations’ to investigate is highly controversial. Perhaps the most controversial has been the failure of successive Prosecutors to investigate crimes committed by Israel and Hamas in the course of Operation Cast Lead 2008-2009. Initially, this was justified on the ground that Palestine was not a state. In the author’s view, this excuse is no longer valid since the recognition of the statehood of Palestine by the General Assembly in November 2012. The failure of the Prosecutor to investigate this situation, and of the Assembly of States Parties to authorize such an investigation when it was requested to do so in November 2012, has resulted in charges of political bias. The author argues that this failure supports the African Union’s claim that the Prosecutor’s Office has chosen to focus attention on Africa and refused to investigate ‘situations’ in other continents.