Tuesday, 30 June 2020 | Editor’s Note: As Israel awaits an upcoming decision by the International Criminal Court on whether it has jurisdiction to launch a war crimes probe against Israel, the Israeli Attorney General released the following statement regarding the legalities of such a probe.
For several years now, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been conducting a preliminary examination further to a request submitted by the Palestinians. The principled legal position of the State of Israel, which is not a party to the ICC, is that the court lacks jurisdiction in relation to Israel and that any Palestinian actions with respect to the court are legally invalid. A year ago, I announced that I was considering publishing a reasoned opinion regarding the court’s lack of jurisdiction to deal with the Palestinian request, with a view to making public Israel’s position in this regard as presented in various legal and diplomatic fora. In light of the prosecutor’s recent statement, in the context of her annual report on preliminary examinations, noting her intention to reach a decision in the matter, I consider it appropriate to publish the paper. As set out in detail in the opinion, the court manifestly lacks jurisdiction for the following reasons:
The paper is the product of a collaborative inter-agency effort, including personnel from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Security Council, headed by the Deputy Attorney General for International Law, Dr. Roy Schondorf, and the Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tal Becker; in full coordination with Israel’s senior political echelon.
Posted on June 30, 2020
Source: (Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally published this article on December 20, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
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