TED Conversations

Finding a job,

This conversation is closed.

Does the UN Security Council Resolution 1970 provide immunity to mercenaries hired by the Gaddafi regime?

There is an article posted by The Telegraph that asserts that the mercenaries hired by the Gaddafi regime in Libya will be immune to prosecution in the ICC due to the concession demanded by the United States in Resolution 1970.

UN Resolution 1970 was the UN Security Council's response to the reported atrocities in Libya. In order to issue the resolution, the US needed to agree to it, and demanded an exception to the ICC's jurisdiction in return for the US's support. I ask for clarification because in discussions elsewhere (read: reddit), the false notion of mercenary immunity is holding sway.

I am by no means an expert on international law or global relations, so I'm seeking the understanding of those that are. I would like to conclusively refute the false claims posted on The Telegraph.

The article in question: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8350968/Libya-African-mercenaries-immune-from-prosecution-for-war-crimes.html

Full text of Resolution 1970: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10187.doc.htm

Share:
  • Feb 28 2011: Ok, here is my attempt at an answer, if anyone with expertise sees it, let me know if I'm correct.

    As part of UN Security Council Resolution 1970, the Security Council has referred all war crimes in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court [see Article 4 of the resolution]. In accordance Article 25 of the UN Charter, all Members of the United Nations agree to carry out the decisions of the Security Council. This means that all UN Members are obligated to comply with the ICC, or risk suspension of their UN membership by the Security Council. Specific nationalities of mercenaries mentioned in the article are; Algeria, Ethiopia, and Tunisia, all of which are UN Members, and must comply with all Security Council resolutions.

    It is standing US policy that US nationals do not fall in the jurisdiction of the ICC, and the US rescinded all obligation to the ICC in 2002. As such, the US does hold permanent veto power in the Security Council, and used the threat of veto to guarantee a clause in UN Security Council Resolution 1970. As I interpret this clause, no citizen of any non-ICC member nation falls in the jurisdiction of the ICC as it relates to action taken in Libya "established or authorized by the Council." I read that as referring to peacekeeping missions as part of Resolution 1970. This would void any obligation countries have to the ICC as it relates to UN membership during peacekeeping missions in Libya. This does not provide immunity for mercenaries hired by the Gaddafi regime as those citizens are not part of any UN peacekeeping missions. Therefore, the assertion in the Telegraph piece would either be misleading, or blatantly false.

    I do not have a law background, nor a international law background, so I could be way off. Hoping an expert could weigh-in and clarify for me.