Parliament Updates

JOINT STATEMENT - Urging government to uphold integrity and autonomy of ICC

5 June 2024

Dear Prime Minister,

Following the announcement made by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 20 May 2024 regarding the applications made by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) for arrest warrants in the Situation in the State of Palestine against several Hamas and Israeli leaders, we write to urge the Australian Government to actively uphold the integrity and autonomy of the ICC in its investigations.

We are disturbed by, and strongly condemn, any threats or efforts to undermine the independence and impartiality of the ICC. This includes calls from some in Australia to withdraw from the Rome Statute. It is imperative that the Australian Government takes decisive action to both publicly support the ICC's work, as well as strongly denounce any attempts to pressure the OTP into withdrawing its application for arrest warrants. Independent judicial processes must be permitted to operate free from political interference and threat of punishment.

The ICC was founded with the aim of eradicating impunity for those responsible for the gravest offences against humanity, as well as to deter any future commission of such offences, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Australia has long led efforts to build an effective international criminal justice system including, notably, in the establishment of the ICC itself, as a key party in the negotiation of the Rome Statute. Now as a State Party of the Rome Statute, Australia has an obligation to fully cooperate with the ICC in its investigation and prosecution of crimes under its mandate, including the investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.

It is the responsibility of all State Parties to the ICC to protect the Court and its staff, which includes Australian nationals employed by the ICC, from coercion, interference and threats to its mandate and independence. Failing to do so would not only undermine efforts to hold Hamas and Israeli officials and operatives to account, but would also erode the very foundations of international justice.

We urge the Australian Government to use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to ensure the ICC can fulfil its mandate.

Yours sincerely,

Zali Steggall OAM MP
Member for Warringah

Andrew Wilkie MP
Independent Member for Clark

Senator Penny Allman-Payne
Senator for Queensland

Bridget Archer MP
Member for Bass

Adam Bandt MP
Member for Melbourne

Stephen Bates MP
Member for Brisbane

Max Chandler-Mather MP
Member for Griffith

Kate Chaney MP
Member for Curtin

Senator Dorinda Cox
Senator for Western Australia

Zoe Daniel MP
Member for Goldstein

Senator Mehreen Faruqi
Senator for New South Wales

Dr Helen Haines MP
Member for Indi

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Senator for South Australia

Senator Steph Hodgins-May
Senator for Victoria

Senator Nick McKim
Senator for Tasmania

Senator Barbara Pocock
Senator for South Australia

Senator David Pocock
Senator for Australian Capital Territory

Dr Monique Ryan MP
Member for Kooyong

Dr Sophie Scamps MP
Member for Mackellar

Senator David Shoebridge
Senator for New South Wales

Senator Jordan Steele-John
Senator for Western Australia

Senator Lidia Thorpe
Senator for Victoria

Kylea Tink MP
Member for North Sydney

Senator Larissa Waters
Senator for Queensland

Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP
Member for Ryan

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
Senator for Tasmania