Keys of what Venezuela did in The Hague

Last Thursday, February 13, the lawsuit that Venezuela formally issued before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on crimes against humanity, derived from unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States government against the people and the Venezuelan State as a whole.

Venezuela introduce denuncia ante la Corte Penal Internacional por medidas coercitivas unilaterales

The remission – or the lawsuit – consigned to the Prosecutor of the ICC, in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands, narrates the effects of the sanctions – since 2014 – and how these are classified as crimes against humanity, according to the terms set forth in the Rome Statute, established in article 7.

‘Crime against humanity’ means any of the acts described in article 7 of the Rome Statute when it is committed as part of a generalized or systematic attack against a civilian population and with knowledge of said attack – in order to break the will of the peoples.

The complaint shows and details, on one hand, what the situation of Venezuela was before the application of unilateral coercive measures by the administration of the White House, as well as its impact on the functioning of the Venezuelan economy and enjoyment of the human rights of the Venezuelan population.

On the other, it succinctly argues about the illegality of the sanctions, what are the crimes that their application has generated and develops aspects of jurisdiction and admissibility before the ICC.

Likewise, the document asks the ICC Prosecutor to determine the person or persons responsible for such crimes and proceed to prosecution.

What comes after the complaint?

After the document is consigned to the Prosecutor’s Office of the ICC, it is up to the international entity to initiate an investigation aimed at determining whether any of the crimes provided in the Rome Statute were committed and the person or persons responsible for such acts.

Venezuela denuncia al gobierno de EEUU ante la Corte Penal Internacional por crímenes de lesa humanidad

What does the Rome Statute say about remission?

The Remission provided in article 14 of the Rome Statute or Statute of the International Criminal Court, warns of a situation that could involve the commission of any of the crimes established in the Statute, encouraging the Prosecutor’s Office to investe the facts and determining if one or more persons should be charged for such crimes.

Although the Remission is not tacitly a “lawsuit” in the terms of International Criminal Law, in practice it has similar effects, so the terms remission and lawsuit can be used as synonyms.

Article 14 Remission of a situation by a State Party

1. Any State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which it appears that one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed and request the Prosecutor to investigate the situation in order to determine whether the commission of such crimes is to be charged to one or several specific people.

2. As far as possible, the relevant circumstances shall be specified in the referral and the supporting documentation provided by the complainant State shall be attached.

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