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On 9 December 2020, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she would close the United Kingdom/Iraq preliminary examination. The panelists will analyze the Prosecutor’s declination and what it means for future investigations against powerful states, in particular the International Criminal Court’s ongoing inquiries involving Israel (in Palestine) and the United States (in Afghanistan).

Event details of The International Criminal Court vs. Powerful States: The United Kingdom/Iraq Preliminary Examination and Beyond
Date 18 February 2021
Time 15:00 -16:30

On 9 December 2020, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she would close the United Kingdom/Iraq preliminary examination. The Prosecutor determined that, while there was a reasonable basis to believe that members of the British armed forces had committed war crimes in Iraq, she could not substantiate allegations that the United Kingdom’s subsequent investigations were not genuine, or that potential perpetrators had been shielded from justice. The Prosecutor’s declination has come under criticism. In particular, questions have been raised about the British government’s history of ignoring abuses committed by its own troops, the lack of accountability alternatives for Iraqi victims, and the Prosecutor’s deferential evaluation of the United Kingdom’s domestic proceedings. The panelists will analyze the Prosecutor’s declination and what it means for future investigations against powerful states, in particular the International Criminal Court’s ongoing inquiries involving Israel (in Palestine) and the United States (in Afghanistan).

Panelists:

Carla Ferstman (Essex Law School)

Patryk Labuda (Amsterdam Center for International Law)

Yahli Shereshevsky (Hebrew University Jerusalem)

Moderator:

Priya Urs, University College London