I wish all the readers of this blog a very happy New Year and thank you for your support over the years. Do not hesitate to spread the word about spreading the jam!
The new year started with a bang: Palestine has decided to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). It seems unavoidable to write about the issue and there have been a flurry of commentaries in the past week (more particularly see the great overviews from David Luban at Just Security and Amanda Taub at Vox) which comprehensively cover a number of legal issues that arise now and are likely to arise in the future. I won’t re-hash these issues now, as there will be ample time to do so when (if) the time comes.
The one point I want to focus on here is the question of Palestine’s retroactive acceptance of jurisdiction back to last summer. Indeed, in addition to joining the ICC (which, on principle, only has prospective effect as per Article 11(2) of the Rome Statute), Palestine also lodged a declaration under Article 12(3) accepting the Court’s jurisdiction back to the 13 June 2014, in order to cover last summer’s war in Gaza.
This raises the interesting question of whether Palestine can actually do this and whether this falls within the parameters of both Article 12(3) and 11(2). Continue reading