THE ICC JUDGEMENT, HISTORY-

WHERE WE GO FROM HERE

What was decided by the Court?
What is so controversial about it and why? 
What are the main talking points? 
What’s next and what can be done? 

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Moderated by: Jonathan Heuberger
Speakers: Adv. Yifa Segal, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch, Adv. Anne Herzberg,  Adv. Jonathan Turner, and Adv. Joshua Kern.

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On March 16, 2020, over a dozen pro-Israel organizations submitted amicus curiae briefs to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) “on the situation of Palestine”. In addition, seven states (Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and Uganda) submitted briefs contesting the Court’s jurisdiction. The ICC invited organizations to submit observations on the question of the ICC’s jurisdiction over “Palestine”, being the areas known as Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

On February 5, 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) pre-trial Chamber (the Chamber) issued its long-awaiting decision on the Court's jurisdiction over "the situation in Palestine". The Chamber, in its majority decision (2-1), ruled that the Court has jurisdiction over the territory of "Palestine", which compromises Gaza, Judea and Samaria and East
Jerusalem. This decision paves the way towards an eventual investigation into war crimes
charges against Israeli officials. To reach this decision, the Chamber had to consider several issues, namely Palestine's
statehood (the First Issue), its territory (the Second Issue) and the effects of the Oslo Accords.

The Chamber's decision on jurisdiction is only a ruling on a preliminary matter. This means that although the Chamber has ruled that it has jurisdiction over "the situation in Palestine", it must still investigate whether the relevant parties (Israel and the Palestinians) committed war crimes and whether it will seek to prosecute specific individuals. The Court must still
determine whether the allegations raised by the Palestinians are severe enough and whether the Israeli legal system provides adequate redress (complementarity).The process is likely to take a minimum of a few years, and in the meanwhile much can change. However, the decision by an international judiciary body to investigate Israel for war
crimes can have serious ramifications in the interim on Israel's reputation, international standing and efforts to battle de-legitimization against it.

RESOURCES

ICC - Why it Should Concern You
Decision on Jurisdiction - Summary
ILF's Submission - Jurisdiction
Synopsis of Pro-Israel Submissions

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