Open Society files complaint challenging Trump sanctions on ICC prosecutors
OSeveno, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Open Society files complaint challenging Trump sanctions on ICC prosecutors

The Open Society Justice Initiative and four prominent law professors filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the Trump administration’s executive order that imposes sanctions on persons associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Created under the Rome Statute in 2002, the ICC is authorized to investigate and prosecute war crimes that occur around the world. The June 11 order by the president blocked the assets of persons involved with the ICC and banned their entry into the United States under the guise of national security interests. The executive order was immediately contested by the international community when numerous parties to the ICC released a statement in support of “the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution.”

On Thursday, the plaintiffs alleged that Fatou Bensouda, an ICC prosecutor, and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Office of Prosecutor’s Jurisdiction, were added to a Designated Nationals list based on their involvement with the ICC. In addition, there were First and Fifth Amendment violation claims for “barring Plaintiffs from engaging in certain speech and advocacy to support the ICC.” The vague terms in the Executive Order allegedly “provide no notice to Plaintiffs as to what acts are prohibited, and permit arbitrary enforcement.”

The decision in the case will likely have global ramifications, as the United States’ commitment to global justice is on the line.