By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny
The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) has submitted an amicus brief to the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court defending the decision of the Court’s lead prosecutor not to heed a trio of judges’ naked politics-not-law demand that she open an investigation into the ill-fated Israeli raid of the Turkish flotilla, the Mavi Marmara. (Whether Fatou Bensouda did this out of a commitment to justice or to protect her hard-won power/turf is, of course, open to question.)
[W]e have argued that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over Israel or Israeli forces at all because Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC. A treaty (an agreement between two more States), by its very nature, binds only parties that agree to be bound by its terms. Under customary international law, the terms of a treaty cannot be forced on non-parties. This is a basic principle of international law. As such, we have argued that the Rome Statute does not bind Israel and cannot be applied against Israel. Yet, it appears that the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have influenced the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision.
Our brief urges the Appeals Chamber to review and decide this critical case appropriately, according to the applicable law, not anti-Israel bias.
More info on the group’s fight against the ever-creeping “lawfare” menace here.
“We will not stand by as our ally is undermined on the world stage,” Jay Sekulow, a chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice who has successfully presented an oral argument to the ICC lead prosecutor in the past, writes. “The stakes couldn’t be higher.”