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ICC update

[29 February 2020] – On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) concluded her 5-year preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine and announced that “there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed”. At the request of the Prosecutor the case was then referred to Pre-Trial Chamber I of the Court (the Chamber) to determine if there is jurisdiction to proceed to a formal investigation.

On 28 January 2020, the Chamber issued an order setting the procedure and the schedule for the submission of observations related to the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction. The Chamber, composed of Presiding Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and  Judge Reine Alapini-Gansou invited Palestine, Israel and victims to submit written observations on the question of jurisdiction by 16 March 2020. Other States, organisations and /or persons may also submit written observations by 16 March with the leave of the court.
The ICC Prosecutor is instructed to file a consolidated response in writing to any observations submitted by no later than 30 March 2020. According to media reports a number of States have sought leave of the Court to submit observations supporting Israel’s position that the Court does not have jurisdiction. These countries include: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary.
  • 28 January 2020: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber invites Palestine, Israel, interested States and others to submit observations
  • 21 January 2020: Situation in Palestine: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber rules on Prosecutor’s request for an extension of the page limit
  • 20 December 2019: Statement of ICC Prosecutor on the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the Situation in Palestine, and seeking a ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction
  • The case for forcible transfer of children at the ICC