Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Is it really possible that a senior official of the International Criminal Court would actually discourage States from ratifying the Rome Statute?
Yet that seems to be the advice that Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who was Prosecutor of the Court from 2003 to 2012, is offering to both Israel and Palestine.
He is quoted by Associated Press on a recent visit to Israel:
A former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says Palestinians should proceed with caution as they consider pursuing war crimes against Israel.
Since winning upgraded status at the United Nations in 2012, the Palestinians have threatened to turn to the ICC to press charges against Israel at the world's first permanent war crimes court if peace efforts fail. The latest round of talks broke down last month.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Wednesday said the Palestinians are indeed eligible to join the court. But he said if they accepted its jurisdiction, Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers also could be investigated for rocket fire and suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.
In his first visit to Israel, he recommended the sides avoid the court and find a "creative" way to resolve their differences.
I don't believe Moreno-Ocampo is alone in adopting this position. He may have picked it up from the US Department of State, whose views he has often echoed. But the United Kingdom and France, both of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, have also suggested that Palestine should not ratify the Rome Statute.
This sheds additional light on the Court's African focus, something that is very much the legacy of Luis Moreno-Ocampo. If he thinks Palestine and Israel should look for a 'creative' solution to their differences and that they should avoid the Court, his message seems to be that the institution is good for Africans but not for others.
It would be helpful to the Court if Moreno-Ocampo would keep his mouth shut.

3 comments:

dakani maalim said...

We know ICC is meant for African

dakani maalim said...

ICC is meant for Africans

Malloy Gideon said...

Moreno, you a lost ship