Professor Alain Pellet, of the University of Paris-Nanterre, and former president of the International Law Commission, has prepared a legal opinion supporting the view that Palestine is a ‘state’ for the purposes of article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. As a result, he concludes, Palestine’s declaration last January (see this blog) validly gives jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court, and enables the Prosecutor to launch prosecutions relating to war crimes committed in Gaza, in accordance with article 15 of the Statute.
Article 12(3) of the Statute allows a State that is not a State party to the Statute (i.e., a member of the Court) to nevertheless give jurisdiction to the Court. It raises the question of Palestine's status as a 'State' under international law. Professor Pellet argues that rather than consider this question in an abstract and general sense, it should be narrowed. This issue is whether or not Palestine is a State for the purposes of article 12(3), that is, for the simple purpose of giving the Court jurisdiction over international crimes, rather than for all purposes.
Professor Pellet invites people to add their names to his opinion, by communicating with William Bourdon (firstname.lastname@example.org). He asks that he be copied on any correspondence (courriel@AlainPellet.fr). If readers prefer to make comments or suggestions, they may also submit them to this blog.