Australian law firm Birchgrove Legal has names Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and other Members of his government and Members of the Australian Parliament in a communique to the International Criminal Court (ICC), alleging complicity to genocide in Gaza, Palestine.

In a statement published online Birchgrove Legal says, the communication to the ICC is being led by, King’s Counsel Sheryn Omeri and a team from the law firm and has been endorsed by, “King’s Counsel Greg James AM and well over 100 senior counsel and barristers, retired judges, law professors and academics from around Australia”.

In Australia, a prosecution for international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity require the endorsement of the Attorney General.

In February Independent Senator, Lidia Thorpe introduced a Bill seeking to remove the required consent of the Attorney-General for proceedings relating to genocide and related atrocity crimes.

The ICC is a court of last resort and can prosecute international crimes when a State party to the Rome Statute is unable or unwilling to do so.

Last November more than 1400 lawyers signed a letter which called upon the Australian government to exert its influence to secure a ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank, and ensure there is adequate provision of food, fuel, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance to Gaza as well as the unconditional restoration of water and electricity.

Birchgrove Legal

Birchgrove Legal says it’s legal team twice wrote to Albanese “putting him on notice and seeking a response on behalf of the applicants”. Principal solicitor, Moustafa Kheir said “communications were ignored on both occasions”.

Since October we have attempted communications with our Prime Minister as we reasonably believe that he and members of his cabinet are encouraging and supporting war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians through their political and military assistance

Moustafa Kheir

The communication to the ICC sets out actions taken by Albanese, Ministers and Members of parliament:

  • Freezing $6 million in funding to the primary aid agency operating in Gaza – UNRWA – amid a humanitarian crisis based on unsubstantiated claims by Israel after the International Court of Justice had found it plausibly to be committing genocide in Gaza.
  • Providing military aid and approving defence exports to Israel, which could be used by the IDF in the course of the prima facie commission of genocide and crimes against humanity.
  • Ambiguously deploying an Australian military contingent to the region, where its location and exact role have not been disclosed.
  • Permitting Australians, either explicitly or implicitly, to travel to Israel to join the IDF and take part in its attacks on Gaza.
  • Providing unequivocal political support for Israel’s actions, as evidenced by the political statements of the PM and other members of Parliament, including the Leader of the Opposition.

Birchgrove Legal has also asked the ICC Prosecutor to investigate Foreign Minister Wong and the Leader of the Opposition.

ABC news reported, a spokesperson said the government doesn’t comment on “private legal matters”.

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