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- Harlan: The parties to the Statute have agreed to give third states the right to accept the jurisdiction of the Court. The recent decision of the Prosecutor to reject the Article 12(3) Declaration of the State of Palestine was ultra vires in accordance with the rules governing the rights and obligations of third states under treaties contained in Articles 35-37 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. English [PDF] The Prosecutor can't revoke or modify an obligation under the Statute after it... (more)
- Harlan: Hi Souheir, The rules by which States are granted permission to deposit treaty instruments after joining one of the UN specialized agencies, like UNESCO, are contained in The Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties under the heading The "Vienna formula"; the,"all States formula"; the practice of the General Assembly. As a member of UNESCO, Palestine unambiguously satisfies the criteria to accede to multilateral treaties opened under the most strict "... (more)
- Souheir: Hi everyone, I understand this debate is still open for contribution despite the fact it has become dormant. Given Palestine's recent admission to UNESCO, I thought it was important to say something about this and also to pick up on some of the comments that have already been made. Palestine’s admission to UNESCO reflects an emerging state practice favouring recognition of Palestinian state The admission of Palestine to UNESCO as a Member State (subject to its signing and ratifying the UNESCO... (more)
- Rosette Bar Haim: A Reply to Mr. Harlan’s Position1 It is necessary to relocate the debate in order to clearly perceive the legal questions at stake in the matter of the PNA Acceptance of Jurisdiction. I firmly believe that this action by the PNA is inherently intermingled with public law, and while public law and politics can coexist, criminal justice and politics cannot. The Statute is the result of a political legal compromise aimed at individual criminal liability,... (more)
- Harlan: Danterzian, I thought that all of Ms. Herzberg's arguments were unconvincing. *The “principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal established that certain acts result in international criminal liability when they are "directed against any civilian population." - even stateless Jewish and Roma peoples. Many of the comments here reintroduce the dangerous concept that a State enjoys the freedom to commit criminal acts against an... (more)
- danterzian: I find part of Herzberg's argument troubling. She essentially argues that because (1) the Rome Statute must not allow grave crimes to go unpunished and (2) the PNA and Arab League frequently commit grave crimes, therefore (3) the ICC should not exercise jurisdiction over the grievous crimes committed in Palestine. Although I agree that there are other reasons for the Court to not exercise jurisdiction, I don't believe the above argument is one of them. The Rome Statute's preamble states that... (more)
- Herzberg: The PNA declaration should be rejected for several reasons, particularly because it is part of a soft power political war—also known as the “weaponization” of human rights—that has exploited international legal frameworks in order to avoid a negotiated solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.1 However, the most compelling reason for its rejection is that the PNA and its supporters have “unclean... (more)
- Harlan: danterzian, I believe that Professor Quigley is correct. In 2004 the General Assembly adopted a resolution, A/RES/58/292, on the status of the Occupied Palestinian territory which noted that Palestine was an observer pending its attainment of full membership in the United Nations. That same year, the non-member Permanent Observer.State of the Holy See launched a bid to apply for full membership in the United Nations. When its efforts were unsuccessful, it asked to be granted upgraded observer... (more)
- Harlan: The United States is not a State party to the Rome Statute. I was just illustrating some points made by Professor Quigley - that the United States had recognized the State of Palestine in accordance with the provisions of conventional international law & that it customarily treats States as continuing to exist if their territory is under foreign occupation. The Baltic States provide an example of an undertaking that lasted for many decades. In cases like Kletter, those routine... (more)
- Harlan: Ti-Chiang Chen's classic "The International Law of Recognition:With Special Reference to Practice In Great Britain and United States has a chapter on the Laws of Recognition of Belligerency and Insurgency which discusses the customary rules and the internal inconsistency of the logic of some scholars on the very point you've raised here. How can an entity have the duties and responsibilities of a State under international law, yet still not possess the necessary legal personality of a State?... (more)
Comment on the Gaza Question: “Does the Prosecutor of the ICC have the authority to open an investigation into alleged crimes committed in the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict?”
The United States is not a State party to the Rome Statute. I was just illustrating some points made by Professor Quigley - that the United States had recognized the State of Palestine in accordance with the provisions of conventional international law & that it customarily treats States as continuing to exist if their territory is under foreign occupation. The Baltic States provide an example of an undertaking that lasted for many decades.
In cases like Kletter, those routine determinations of statehood continue to have legal consequences in our national courts afterward as a matter of intertemporal law. Palestine remains the "country of origin" for many resident immigrant aliens who came here during the Mandate era. Palestinian nationality or origin also had its basis in the Treaty of Lausanne and is a federally protected characteristic. The ICC exercises complementary jurisdiction. It will produce very strange results going forward if it adopts a different definition of the term "State" than the one currently employed by State Parties to the Rome Statute. 110 or more countries recognize Palestine as a "State" with all the rights and duties determined by international law. The obligation of the Court in making Palestine's Article 12(3) declaration effective has an erga omnes character. It isn't minting new states in a situation where the national courts of other countries already accept the legal personality of an entity as that of another existing state. The ICC is merely perfecting the secured interests of those other members of the international community of states by taking the necessary steps to apply the rules they have adopted for the conduct of their mutual relations..
In 1995 the State Department published a Memorandum of Conversation between William Crawford Jr. and Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim from the Israeli Embassy (February 7, 1963) regarding Jerusalem. Bar-Haim said "The use of the term "Palestine" is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its "revived usage enrages" individual Israelis". Crawford replied "It is difficult to see how it "enrages" Israeli opinion. The practice is consistent with the fact that, ''in a de jure sense'', Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty. Crawford added that it was not a simple matter since there was a ''quota nationality'', in regard to which U.S. legislation and regulation continued to employ the term Palestine at that time. See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. Xviii, Near East, United States. Dept. of State, G.P.O., 1995, ISBN 0160451590, page 341.
US immigration law still reflects that the trusteeships and mandates were states. U.S. Title 8, Chapter 12, § 1101. Definitions says "(a) As used in this chapter— (14) The term “foreign state” includes outlying possessions of a foreign state, but self-governing dominions or territories under mandate or trusteeship shall be regarded as separate foreign states."
Other treaties contained similar provisions to the ones found in the Treaty of Lausanne. Article 434 of the Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany was required to recognize the dispositions made concerning the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, "and to recognize the new States within their frontiers as there laid down." The other Central powers and the treaty articles that required them to recognize the new States were:
*Bulgaria Article 60 of the Treaty of Neuilly;
*Hungary Article 74 (2) of The Treaty of Trianon
*Austria Article 90 of The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
So, Palestine was a "state" as defined in national and international law. If you look for bilateral and multilateral agreements between modern-day Palestine and other states, you'll find evidence that Palestine has ratified or signed many other instruments as a "State" in accordance with the terms of conventional international law.