Committee Reports

Letter to International Criminal Court regarding War Crimes Against the Yazidi


With assistance from the United Nations Committee (Michael D. Cooper, Chair), the City Bar President, John Kiernan, sent a letter to the International Criminal Court urging the Office of the Prosecutor to open a Preliminary Examination into the situation in Iraq with respect to the commission of crimes against the Yazidi people by members of ISIS. The circumstances of this case call for the ICC’s intervention: “[t]he particular confluence of international actors, the cross-border and international nature of the crimes, the unique, organized and international character of the non-state actor sponsoring the atrocities, the continuing commission of acts of a most horrendous nature, and the clear intent of the perpetrators that their atrocities… resonate internationally as a conscience-shocking affront to basic human dignity, [and] all raise the question of how the ICC, a Court of international jurisdiction, should intervene.”  While recognizing that the “unique situation” in Iraq may not have been anticipated when the ICC was initially formed, Mr. Kiernan wrote: “this constellation of international criminal acts and actors demands that the ICC step forward.”