Our Work

Advocating for a just approach to Palestine

Ending Australia’s complicity with Israel’s human rights abuses

Ahlone ports, Yangon Myanmar

Together with a coalition of prominent Palestinian human rights organisations, we are calling on the Australian Government to undertake an urgent review of all trade cooperation with Israel and implement effective measures to protect the Palestinian people’s fundamental human rights. The Australian Government is considering strengthening trade, and the possibility of entering into a Free Trade Agreement with Israel. Our research highlighted programs, agreements and other instances that are evidence of Australia’s complicity with Israel’s violations of international law, violations which amount to international crimes. The various Palestinian human rights organisations which form the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), have decades of experience in documenting and providing legal support to Palestinian communities impacted by these human rights abuses and international crimes, including at the UN and the ICC.

Our research points to evidence of Israel’s breaches of international law from which it derives significant economic benefits from its subjugation of the Palestinian people while implementing a settler-colonial apartheid regime that deprives the Palestinians of their own economic growth and prosperity. The ACIJ and PHROC provide a list of ten recommendations and concrete actions that the Australian Government must undertake to comply with Australia’s own obligations under international law and end its complicity with Israel’s human rights abuses and the commission of international crimes. The recommendations have helped interested persons and groups formulate statements and positions to call for concrete actions. They will also help our ongoing legal support work with communities impacted by international crimes.

 

Supporting accountability at the ICC: Palestine

In February 2020, the Australian Government joined a small group of other States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to intervene in ICC proceedings and provide observations to a Pre-Trial Chamber arguing that the Court has no jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute grave crimes in Palestine. The ACIJ worked with human rights NGO partners in Palestine and others around the world to condemn this move and call on States Parties to support international justice and accountability and withdraw their requests to prevent an investigation from proceeding. Our media release broke the news, and our comments were featured in The Guardian.

The ACIJ is committed to working with our NGO partners in Palestine and around the world, who represent victims groups from the occupied Palestinian territory in Gaza and the West Bank, to ensure access to justice at the ICC without discrimination.

Ahlone ports, Yangon Myanmar

Against annexation 

Ahlone ports, Yangon Myanmar

Our briefing paper on Australia’s international law obligations regarding Israel’s annexation of the West Bank was released in June 2020 in anticipation of Israel’s imminent annexation of the West Bank. It was widely read and shared. It may even have influenced the statement released by the Foreign Minister which recognised “land appropriations, demolitions, and settlement activity” the issues that formed the focus of our brief. In a climate where the Australian Government is often dismissive of Palestinian human rights on the global stage, this was a welcome step.

We recommended the implementation of effective measures against any imminent annexation and present de facto annexation policies such as targeted sanctions, and other measures for violations of international law arising from Israel’s occupation and settlement enterprise, which have expressly denied the Palestinian people fundamental human rights guarantees. We recognised Australia’s response in respect of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and recommended Australia consider other places impacted by occupation and annexation, such as Western Sahara and West Papua.

Latest on Accountability for Crimes in Palestine

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia must support landmark ICC application for arrest warrants in the Situation in Palestine

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia must support landmark ICC application for arrest warrants in the Situation in Palestine

The Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) welcomes the announcement overnight from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he has made an application for arrest warrants in the Situation in Palestine. ACIJ calls on the Australian Government: to commit to supporting steps taken to ensure accountability for crimes committed on the territory of the State of Palestine; to rescind in full the Morrison Government’s 2020 attempt to stop an investigation at the ICC from being opened, and; to declare its support for the independence of the Court as it comes under attack. As a party to the Rome Statute, the Australian Government is legally bound to fully cooperate with any warrant issued. 

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia has a duty to prevent genocide in Gaza and act to implement ICJ ruling that Israel’s actions in Gaza are a plausible genocide

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia has a duty to prevent genocide in Gaza and act to implement ICJ ruling that Israel’s actions in Gaza are a plausible genocide

In a historic decision, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that South Africa’s claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza is plausible. ACIJ calls on the Australian Government to issue a public statement welcoming this decision and committ to complying with its duty to prevent genocide.

Letter: Australia should support South Africa’s application at the ICJ alleging Israeli breaches of the Genocide Convention against Palestinians in Gaza

Letter: Australia should support South Africa’s application at the ICJ alleging Israeli breaches of the Genocide Convention against Palestinians in Gaza

On 9 January 2024, the Australian Centre for International Justice wrote to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General requesting the Australian Government provide its full support to South Africa’s application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel alleging breaches under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Palestinian human rights organisations launch court action to reveal ‘secret’ arms exports from Australia to Israel

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Palestinian human rights organisations launch court action to reveal ‘secret’ arms exports from Australia to Israel

Palestinian human rights groups, Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) have launched legal action in the Federal Court of Australia. The human rights groups seek access to all permits allowing the export of arms and weapons to Israel that have been granted by the Minister for Defence since 7 October 2023. The application is supported by the Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ).
This is the first legal challenge attempting to shed light on arms exports permits in Australia.

Joint Statement: Australian Civil Society Statement in Solidarity with Gaza

Joint Statement: Australian Civil Society Statement in Solidarity with Gaza

A joint statement released today signed by more than 80 civil society organisations in Australia calls on the Australian government to act on the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In the statement, the organisations ask for Australia to immediately call for a ceasefire and for an end to the targeting of civilians in Gaza.

Joint Media Release: Civil society organisations welcome the Future Fund’s exclusion of Elbit Systems, and call on the Federal and Victorian Governments to drop Elbit or risk complicity in serious violations of international law

Joint Media Release: Civil society organisations welcome the Future Fund’s exclusion of Elbit Systems, and call on the Federal and Victorian Governments to drop Elbit or risk complicity in serious violations of international law

Joint Media Release: Civil society organisations welcome the Future Fund’s exclusion of Elbit Systems, and call on the Federal and Victorian Governments to drop Elbit or risk complicity in serious violations of international law 15 March 2022 Civil society...

The Australian Centre for International Justice fights to hold accountable those responsible for the most serious international crimes. It continues to be an enormous challenge.

We work with survivors of torture, sexual violence, genocide and war to research and develop strategies to fight for justice.

We are Australia’s first specialist legal centre providing strategic advice and representation to people seeking justice and accountability.

We take action against the impunity of those responsible for committing atrocity crimes. We all benefit by supporting communities in Australia and around the world access justice.

We need your support to fight for justice.

Join us to advance international justice in Australia and make a tax-deductible donation to support our work and help us push our projects and litigation.

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