The International Criminal Law blog

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The International Criminal Law blog

Syria and the International Criminal Court

21 August 2011 by Steven Kay

The steps being taken in the UN and ICC to take international legal measures against Syria were predictable.
Syria was warned that the recent outbreaks of violence would be an opportunity for those opposed to its government to make moves to destabilise its regime and prosecute its leadership.
The political and legal consequences of such measures are very uncertain but it is clear that the ICC process is being used during conflicts to aid one side against another.
This use of international legal procedures as a weapon in a conflict was seen first in the 1999 Kosovo conflict when the ICTY Prosecutor entered the fray to issue for the first time an indictment against the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic as a form of support to NATO in its campaign.
The indictment was not charging him with crimes in Srebrenica, Vukovar, Bosnia or Croatia. It only concerned Kosovo, which NATO was attempting to wrest from the control of Serbia, with measures that also included attacks in Serbia which is outside Kosovo.
It has also occurred this year in Libya, where the ICC, NATO and the Security Council have been combining their efforts. This conflict concerns the right of a sovereign state to protect itself from civil uprising. Of course measures taken must be proportionate and lawful. But here we also heard the ICC enter into the propaganda business by claiming the Gadaffi troops were issued with viagra to rape women.
Consider now the allied invasion of Iraq. This is viewed by all international legal jurists as plainly falling into the illegal invasion category. Much death and destruction has been caused. But was there any international prosecution notwithstanding such overwhelming evidence and weight from legal experts? Where is that ICC Prosecutor when you need him? The Guardian weblink below says it all.
UN report details abuses that could amount to crimes against humanity as Barack Obama prepares to call on Assad to resign

Posted in International
Tagged Syria







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