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ICC ruling says it has jurisdiction in Palestinian Territories

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

ICC ruling says it has jurisdiction in Palestinian Territories:


The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently ruled that it has jurisdiction over war crimes or atrocities committed in the Palestinian territories, paving the way for a criminal investigation over Israeli actions.

  • Judges said their decision was based on jurisdictional rules in its founding documents and does not imply any attempt to determine statehood or legal borders.

What has the ICC said?

  • It ruled that Palestine is a state party to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC.
  • It ruled that Palestine qualifies as the state on the territory in which the “conduct in question” occurred and that the court’s jurisdiction extends to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Response by Israel:

Israel is not a member of the ICC. As a non-member, it cannot appeal the recent ruling but its attorney general has argued all along that only a sovereign state can delegate authority to the ICC and that the areas in question were not a Palestinian sovereign state.

About ICC:

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • It is the first permanent, treaty based, international court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
  • Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
  • Funding: Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

Composition and voting power:

  • The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.
  • Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
  • The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.



Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between ICJ and ICC.
  2. Geographical locations of these organisations.
  3. What is Rome statute?
  4. Orders of ICC.
  5. What happens when its orders are not implemented?

Mains Link:

Write a note on ICC.

Sources: Indian Express.