The Mavi Marmara incident and the International Criminal Court
Host item entries:
Criminal law forum, Vol. 25, issue 3-4, December 2014, p. 465-503
On 15 May 2013 the OTP announced that it was conducting a preliminary examination of the events surrounding Israel’s enforcement of its naval blockade against the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 in order to determine whether a formal investigation into the incident should be opened. According to Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the OTP shall open a formal investigation where there is a reasonable basis to believe that (a) the ICC possesses temporal, territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction in relation to the situation, (b) it is admissible before the ICC and (c) that a formal investigation would not be contrary to the interests of justice. The application of this framework to the events that occurred on 31 May 2010 is difficult and complex, especially in regard as to whether the situation can be considered of sufficient gravity to warrant the ICC’s attention and whether any of the crimes enumerated in Article 5 of the Rome Statute have been committed. This notwithstanding, I argue that there is a reasonable basis to believe that these criteria are satisfied and therefore conclude by encouraging the OTP to open a formal investigation into the situation.