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Sufficient Gravity before the International Criminal Court

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Boardroom, University of Westminster

309 Regent Street

London

W1B 2HW

United Kingdom

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The assessment of sufficient gravity has played a pivotal role in recent proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Under the ICC Statute, situations are investigated and individuals are prosecuted if a case is of a sufficient gravity. However, the ICC Statute nowhere defines gravity, nor are there any indications regarding the elements that are relevant in the assessment of sufficient gravity. The Appeals Chamber has not offered any interpretation of the gravity threshold, while the references provided by the ICC Pre-Trial and Trial Chambers have been scant and inconclusive. Accordingly, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has enjoyed great discretion on whether to open an investigation or to initiate proceedings on the basis of its assessment of the sufficient gravity threshold. For instance, in 2006 the OTP refused to open an investigation on alleged international crimes committed in Iraq due to a lack of sufficient gravity. Similarly, in 2014 the OTP refused to open an investigation regarding the boarding of the Mavi Marmara vessel by the Israeli Defense Force as the situation was not considered sufficiently grave: although this decision was reversed by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, on 29 November 2017 the Prosecution confirmed its assessment regarding the lack of sufficient gravity.
The conference discusses the issue of sufficient gravity under the ICC Statute in a comprehensive manner. The conference brings together experts of international criminal law and of other areas of international law in order to answer some questions about gravity never explored before.
This event is free but prior registration is required.

For more information, please email Dr Marco Longobardo: m.longobardo1@westminster.ac.uk.

PROGRAMME

2.00 pm: Opening Remarks

2.15 pm: Keynote Speech

Origin and Meaning of the Gravity Threshold in the ICC Statute

Professor William Schabas (Middlesex University and Leiden University)

2.45 pm: General Gravity Issues

Chair Dr Devika Hovell (London School of Economics)

Gravity as a Problem regarding the Interpretation of the ICC Statute

Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice (Queen Mary University of London)

What Elements Should Be Taken into Account in the Assessment of Sufficient Gravity?

Dr Marco Longobardo (University of Westminster and University of Messina)

The Assessment of Sufficient Gravity from the Perspective of the Victims of International Crimes

Dr Carla Ferstman (University of Essex)

Judicial Controls over Gravity Assessments
Dr Triestino Mariniello (Edge Hill University)

4.30 - 4.45 pm: Coffee Break

4.45 pm: Gravity Issues with regard to Situations Involving Specific Crimes
Chair Solomon Sacco (Amnesty International)

Gravity Concerns in Situations Involving Crimes Against Cultural Heritage
Dr Kristin Hausler (British Institute of International and Comparative Law)

Gravity and the Role of Diasporas in Armed Conflict
Professor Larissa Van den Herik (Leiden University)

Gravity Concerns in Situations Involving Attacks against Peacekeepers
Dr Barbara Sonczyk (University of Bedfordshire)

Gravity Concerns and the Prosecution of International Crimes Committed through Cyberspace
Professor Marco Roscini (University of Westminster)

Date and Time

Location

Boardroom, University of Westminster

309 Regent Street

London

W1B 2HW

United Kingdom

View Map

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