Lawfare at the International Criminal Court: The Issue of Jurisdiction

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes individuals charged with grave crimes that concern the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. The ICC resulted from a multilateral treaty known as the Rome Statute, which entered into force in 2002. The ICC was never intended to be a court of universal territorial jurisdiction, but in recent years it has become involved in matters involving countries that are not signatories to the Rome Statute. This has led to differing interpretations of the applicability of basic principles of international law, including claims that organizations and individuals are mis-using the ICC to commit ‘lawfare’ – the use of law as a weapon of war – against countries that would not normally be subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the various ways in which the ICC may exercise jurisdiction
  2. Examine issues related to the ICC’s exercise of jurisdiction in the “Situation in Afghanistan” and the “Situation in Palestine”
  3. Analyze some of the legal arguments regarding constraints on the exercise of the ICC’s jurisdiction 

Credit Information

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Gerard Filitti

The Lawfare Project

Gerard Filitti is Senior Counsel at The Lawfare Project. He joined The Lawfare Project after working as a litigator in private practice for over 15 years, including at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Osen LLC. He has broad experience in commercial and complex litigation across a wide variety of practice areas, in both state and federal courts. Representative clients include Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopaedics, Janssen Pharmaceutia, Honeywell, Alcon, Travelers, Allstate, MetLife, and ADP. More recently, he pursued civil counter-terrorism litigation with an emphasis on money laundering investigations, and represented victims of international acts of terrorism in litigation brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”), the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”), and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”).

Gerard earned his undergraduate degree from New York University. He went on to complete a Master’s Degree (with Merit) at the University of London, writing his dissertation on Exchange Rate Misalignment and Reform in Post-Revolutionary Iran. He was subsequently elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (U.K.), and was a scholar of the Middle East and Central Asia before focusing his attention on the practice of law, graduating from the University of Michigan Law School. Gerard is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Gerard’s first book, Frozen Tide, was featured in Panama City News Herald’s “The Beach’s Best Bookish Bets” as a “timely thriller” that “follows the investigation of a terrorist attack on American soil – with plot twists that could be ripped from the headlines.”