UN Security Council refers Libya to International Criminal Court

On 26 February 2011, the United Nations Security Council by Resolution 1970 (2011), along with imposing an arms embargo and freezing assets of members associated with the Qaddafi regime, referred the humanitarian crisis of systematic attacks and human rights violations of the Libyan population, to the International Criminal Court.

The current status of the case is that it was assigned to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I on March 7 following the announcement of commencement of  the investigation on March 3, 2011.

The reference is justified under Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the ICC where the UNSC can refer a dispute to the Prosecutor. It is surprising that this has been done even though Libya is not a state party to the Rome Statute.(see even the USA). This raises many issues regarding the Jurisdiction and Admissibility of any proceedings against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Also, if Libya will be bound to accept any rulings by the ICC, as the dispute was referred by the UNSC which can make binding declarations.

See the excellent post by War and Law throwing some light on this reference here.


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