UN Security Council urged to refer Syria to ICC

More than 50 countries asked the UN Security Council on Jan. 14 to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In this joint letter, Switzerland, along with 56 other states from all continents, noted the Syrian authorities’ failure to investigate and prosecute war crimes allegedly committed since March 2011 as the basis for much-needed accountability and judicial action in the region. The letter stated: “Since [March 2011], the situation on the ground has only become more desperate, with attacks on the civilian population and the commission of atrocities having almost become the norm.” Due to the fact that Syria is not a party to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, the only way to investigate the matter is to receive a referral from the UN Security Council.

From Jurist, Jan. 15. Used with permission.