Press Release: 16.10.2009
ICC Prosecutor receives Palestinian Minister of Justice, Arab League and Independent Fact-Finding Committee
On 16 October, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, received a Palestinian delegation headed by Dr. Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Dr. Khashan was accompanied by the Palestinian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Nabil Abuznaid, and a team of legal experts including Vaughan Lowe QC, Professor of International Law at Oxford University. The Prosecutor also received members of the Independent Fact-finding Committee led by Professor John Dugard and members of the Arab League Secretariat, in the context of ongoing consultations.
The PNA delegation submitted a preliminary report presenting its legal arguments in support of the declaration lodged on 22 January 2009, accepting the jurisdiction of the Court over crimes committed in Palestine. The Office will carefully examine all supporting arguments submitted, starting with the initial issue of whether the declaration by the PNA accepting the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC meets statutory requirements. The Prosecutor said "We appreciate the efforts undertaken by the PNA and the extensive legal arguments presented on a highly complex area of law."
A further report is to be presented by the PNA in the near future, clarifying additional issues discussed during the meeting.
Palestinian delegations previously visited the Court on 22 January and 13 February 2009.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.