We, the undersigned scholars and practitioners of law, international relations, and politics express our grave concern over the integrity of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The conduct of the OTP under Karim Khan’s mandate has prompted urgent concerns about its adherence to impartiality and non-discrimination.
… Notably, he did not make any reference to the risk of genocide in Gaza, which required special procedures under his mandate, despite warnings by the UN and Academic experts. Instead, the Prosecutor has insisted several times on describing Palestinian population and victims in Gaza as civilians “caught in the crossfire”, seemingly concluding that the Israeli military’s conduct of hostilities has respected the principles of “distinction” and “proportionality”. This framing has formed the core of the Israeli official discourse since the 7th of October, but also during the 2014 Gaza War. By adopting it, the Prosecutor seems to have abruptly accepted Israeli officials’ framing, and to have undermined reports on various crimes committed as part of state plans or policies.
… We demand the Assembly of State Parties to:
- 1. Provide adequate political and financial support to the Court, ensure that the Prosecutor disburses resources on the basis of investigative needs as opposed to politically-motivated prioritization, and urge it to expedite its investigation into the Situation in Palestine.
- 2. Investigate the adherence of the Prosecutor’s Office to ICSC Standards of Conduct, particularly in relation to impartiality, and non-discrimination.
- 3. Investigate the conduct of the current prosecutor of the international criminal court, Karim Khan, and take appropriate measures in accordance with the mandate of the Assembly derived from Article 112 of the Rome Statute.