Geneva International Peace Research Institute – Call to the International Criminal Court to investigate Ursula von der Leyen for complicity in war crimes and genocide committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Gaza

May 27, 2024 by

This press release has got no press attention despite Von Der Leyen being in the middle of a re-election campaign, which is why we are highlighting it here.

Picture by European Parliament

27 May 2024, Geneva – On May 22, 2024, the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI),
the Collectif de Juristes pour le Respect des Engagements Internationaux de la France (CJRF) and a
group of international concerned citizens, submitted a legal brief to the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan requesting the opening of an investigation against
Ursula von der Leyen for complicity in war crimes and genocide against Palestinian civilians in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the Gaza Strip.

This legal brief, endorsed by various human rights groups and prominent academics and experts in
international criminal law, calls the Prosecutor to initiate investigations on the basis of the information
provided against Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen. The latter has been repeatedly informed of violations of
international humanitarian law committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, particularly in the
Gaza Strip, through reports from international organizations and foreign governments. This is
evidenced by a letter sent to her on February 14, 2024, by the President of the Spanish government,
Pedro Sánchez, and the then Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar.

Mrs Ursula von der Leyen is responsible for aiding and abetting the commission of crimes and violations
of international humanitarian law, within the meaning of Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court. Mrs von der Leyen enjoys no functional immunity before the International
Criminal Court by virtue of Article 27 of the Rome Statute.

The President of the European Commission is complicit in violations of Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome
Statute by her positive actions (military, political, diplomatic support to Israel) and by her failure to take
timely action on behalf of the European Commission to help prevent genocide as required by the 1948
Genocide Convention. Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen cannot deny awareness of the plausibility of these
crimes, especially following the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order of 26
January 2024 in the pending ICJ case South Africa v. Israel. More importantly, Mrs. Von der Leyen has
failed to take appropriate action to prevent such crimes, whereas the 1948 Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Statute of the International Criminal
Court make prevention an erga omnes obligation.