Justice for Syria

Oct 10 2019 Posted: 14:25 IST


Lunchtime Seminar

Dr. Caroline Sweeney, University of Limerick, ‘Justice for Syria: Is the International Criminal Court now a Realistic Option?’

Venue: Seminar Room, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway
Monday 18 November 2019

Syria has been engulfed in a brutal armed conflict for over seven years. Numerous internal and external actors have directly participated in the hostilities, which have been characterised by a blatant disregard for the rules of international law. Despite attracting virulent condemnation, apart from a few prosecutions in European states, there has been widespread impunity for international crimes committed in Syria since 2011. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is arguably the most suitable forum for prosecuting alleged perpetrators. However, the Prosecutor has yet to even open an investigation due primarily to the inability to establish a precondition for the exercise of jurisdiction. This presentation examines if this situation is now likely to change in light of a number of recent and controversial decisions of the Court, namely: (i) Pre-Trial Chamber I’s ruling that the Court may exercise jurisdiction on a territorial basis over the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar, a non-state party to the ICC Statute, to Bangladesh, a state party, because an element or part of the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party; and (ii) Pre-Trial Chamber II’s refusal to authorise an investigation proprio motu into the situation in Afghanistan since May 2003 on the grounds that it would not serve the interests of justice.



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