UK charities statement on the Prime Minister’s comments on the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation – 14 April 2021
We condemn the Prime Minister’s statement on the ICC’s investigation into alleged grave
crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). This investigation is bringing
victims, survivors and their families one step closer to justice – but political interference by
states, such as the UK, risks pushing that out of reach.
The investigation is the first genuine hope that alleged perpetrators of the most serious
crimes will be held to account for their actions. The ICC is committed to undertaking an
investigation that is “conducted independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or
favour.” Providing impartial justice and ending decades of impunity would bring the prospect
of lasting peace closer and would signal an end to the suffering endured by generations
across the region.
The UK Government could be a bastion of international law and human rights – but instead it
is undermining international criminal proceedings and standing in the way of justice. No
longer can the UK Government genuinely assert that “Promoting international criminal justice
and the rule of law are fundamental elements of the United Kingdom’s foreign policy.”
Rather, the Prime Minister’s statement sets a wholly dangerous precedent by the UK, that
may impact victims of grave crimes and threatens the viability, objectives, and the future of the court itself.
The international community must be consistent in its support for accountability and the rule
of law, regardless of the context. The UK Government should respect the impartiality and
independence of the court, and should support – rather than substantially undermine –
international legal frameworks and judicial mechanisms.
Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD Bethlehem)
Friends of Birzeit University
War on Want
Embrace the Middle East