Does the ICC have the power to bring war crimes charges against Israeli nationals for Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem? Could the controversial UN Security Council resolution, stating that Israeli settlements constitute a violation of international law, provide the ICC cause to order a full investigation of Israeli settlement construction?
In January 2015 the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of international crimes committed on Palestinian territories, after Palestine was allowed to become a member of the Court.
The Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC has been examining the situation for two years and has set the scope of the examination to: “allegations of international crimes committed on occupied Palestinian territories (including East Jerusalem) since 13 June 2014”. Reports by the Office reveals that the prosecution is focusing on both allegations of crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza conflict, as well as on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, an ICC investigation into allegations of atrocity crimes in Palestinian territories is not without serious legal and procedural difficulties.
In this seminar Sofie A. E. Høgestøl, PhD researcher at the Norwegian Centre of Human Rights, will focus on the the preliminary investigation into Israeli settlements and critically examine the extent to which the Court has the power to prosecute these activities. Kjersti G. Berg, advisor at UiB Global and fellow at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (UiB), will join in conversation for a further discussion on the political context of which the ICC will be operating, what it means to live under Israeli occupation and what implications can be drawn from past experiences proposing to resolve the boarder issue.
Sofie A. E. Høgestøl is a PhD researcher at the Norwegian Centre of Human Rights where her main research focus is on international criminal courts and how they select cases for prosecution. She holds an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University where she was a Norwegian Fulbright Scholar, and completed her undergraduate degree at the London School of Economics. Prior to commencing her PhD position, Sofie worked as an intern at the United Nations Khmer Rouge tribunal in Cambodia and also taught human rights law at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh.
Kjersti G.Berg is an advisor at UiB Global. She is currently writing a book about Palestine, land, buildings and identities. Research interests include Palestine, Palestinian refugees, UN, international humanitarian assistance, the refugee crisis in the Middle East. Her PhD thesis (UiB) is titled ‘The unending temporary. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the politics og humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugee camps 1949-2012″ (2015).
The event is free and open to all