Our Work

Advocating for a just approach to Palestine

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

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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 urged to condemn threats against the ICC

Media Release: Australia urged to condemn threats against the ICC

30 April 2020 Australian human rights organisations have written to the Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General, urging the Australian government to publicly condemn the attacks against the International Criminal Court (ICC) by United...

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.

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