Explanation – What happens after the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requests the issuance of judicial orders in the conflict between Israel and Gaza? – Global News (Trending Perfect)


Written by Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has requested the issuance of arrest warrants against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief of defense, as well as three Hamas leaders on charges of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Here's a look at what happens next, and how the ICC prosecutor's move could affect diplomatic relations and other court cases focused on Gaza.

What will happen next at the ICC?

Prosecutor Karim Khan's request goes to the Pre-Trial Chamber. The chamber will be composed of three judges: the President of the Court, Romanian Judge Iulia Motoc, Mexican Judge Maria del Socorro Flores Liera, and Judge Reine Alabini Ganso from Benin.

There is no deadline for judges to decide whether to issue arrest warrants. In previous cases, judges took just over a month to several months.

If the judges agree that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that war crimes or crimes against humanity have been committed, they will issue an arrest warrant. The warrant must name the person and the specific crimes for which the arrest is sought and state the facts that allegedly constitute those crimes.

Judges can amend warrant requests and approve only parts of what a prosecutor requests. Fees can also be changed and updated later.

Leaders of Israel and Hamas denied allegations of war crimes, and representatives of both sides criticized Khan's decision.

Will Netanyahu and Hamas leaders be arrested?

The Rome Statute of the ICC, in addition to case law from previous cases involving arrest warrants against sitting heads of state, obliges all 124 signatory states to the ICC to arrest and extradite any individual subject to an ICC arrest warrant if he or she sets foot on their territory .

However, the court has no way to enforce the arrest. The penalty for failing to arrest a person is a referral to the Assembly of Member States of the International Criminal Court, and ultimately a referral to the UN Security Council.

Can the ICC investigation or order be temporarily halted?

The court's rules allow the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution halting or postponing an investigation or trial for a year, with the possibility of indefinite renewal.

In previous cases in which a state has ignored its obligation to arrest an individual facing an ICC arrest warrant, that state has received, at most, a procedural slap on the wrist.

Can Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar still travel?

Yes they can. Requesting an arrest warrant or issuing an arrest warrant from the ICC does not limit an individual's freedom to travel. However, once an arrest warrant is issued, they run the risk of arrest if they travel to an ICC signatory, which may impact the decision-making process.

There are no restrictions on political leaders, legislators, or diplomats from meeting with individuals against whom an ICC arrest warrant has been issued. But politically, this could be a bad thing to see.

Will this application for injunctions affect other cases?

Not directly, but perhaps indirectly.

The ICC request is a separate matter from, for example, court cases seeking an arms embargo against Israel or South Africa's attempts at the International Court of Justice seeking to stop the Israeli attack on Rafah.

If the justices decide that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza, it could strengthen legal challenges demanding an arms embargo elsewhere, as many countries have provisions against arms sales. To countries where you may use it. against them in ways that violate international humanitarian law.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Richard Love and Alison Williams)



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