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Monash Expert: International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu

Monash University 2 mins read

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has stated he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the ongoing war in Gaza. A Monash expert is available to discuss the legal and practical aspects of how an arrest warrant would work and their implications.

 

Dr Monique Cormier, Senior Lecturer, Monash University Law

Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

Read more of Dr Cormier’s work at Monash Lens

 

The following can be attributable to Dr Cormier:

 

“The ICC Prosecutor’s decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders still requires approval by one of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chambers before any warrants can be officially issued. This likely won’t take long - the Court officially issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin in March 2023, only three weeks after the Prosecutor requested it. The Pre-Trial Chamber only needs to be satisfied that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that the person has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

“The ICC does not have its own police force, so it relies on member states to arrest persons wanted by the Court and facilitate their transfer to the Hague. Member states are obliged under the ICC Treaty to cooperate with any request for an arrest.

“The difficulty that will likely arise if an arrest warrant is issued for Benjamin Netanyahu is that his status as Prime Minister provides him with absolute immunity from the criminal processes in the domestic jurisdiction of foreign states (including arrest).  This is a long standing rule of international law, and if he travels to a country which is an ICC member, there will be competing legal obligations between respecting Netanyahu’s immunity and respecting the ICC’s request for arrest.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu 

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