Fact Check Library

Lawyers worldwide have submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court alleging that COVID-19 vaccines are in violation of international law.

Written by Shivika Sharma | Sep 14, 2021 3:26:13 PM
Two U.K.-based individuals, whose claims are largely based on COVID-19 misinformation narratives, have requested that the ICC look into the matter.Recent trending social media posts have acclaimed that lawyers all over the world have submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court, alleging that world leaders and their scientific advisors have used COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines to violate international law. These claims are missing essential context. The Daily Expose, a website notorious for spreading COVID-19 misinformation, reports that an attorney called Melinda C. Mayne and Kaira S. McCallum (who is a magistrate and not a lawyer) submitted a request for investigation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April 2021. The request apparently alleges that the U.K. government and its scientific advisors have used COVID-19 vaccines to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and breach the Nuremberg Code. The complainants claim to have received a formal acknowledgment from the ICC by way of a case number. The latest press release from the complainants dated August 17 indicates that they have submitted additional evidence by way of affidavits from certain "experts," including Luc A. Montagnier, a well-known COVID-19 conspiracy theorist. The complainants also said: "We have also been in discussions with lawyers from several other countries, about the possibility of amalgamating in order to submit a combined Request to the ICC." They then list these countries as Slovakia, France, and Czechia. The complainants say that they now have compelling evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 vaccines are deliberately engineered bioweapons. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is an independent organ of the ICC. The OTP is responsible for determining whether a situation meets the legal criteria established by the Rome Statute to warrant investigation by the office. It is important to note that anyone can submit information about alleged crimes to the OTP and that an acknowledgment of receipt should not be confused with a decision on the merits of the case. Allotment of a case number appears to be a purely administrative exercise. On its website, the ICC specifies that any individual, group, or state can send information to the OTP regarding alleged crimes falling under the court's jurisdiction. To date, the OTP has received more than 12,000 such communications, which can form the initial basis of the office's preliminary examinations. To put this figure into context, there have thus far been 30 cases before the ICC, and it is presently investigating 14 situations, mostly involving armed conflict and violence. The OTP conducts a preliminary examination of all communications and situations that come to its attention to decide whether there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation. To arrive at this finding, the OTP has to consider multiple factors, including the principle of complementarity. As reflected in the principle, national jurisdictions have the primary responsibility to end impunity for the crimes listed under the Rome Statute, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Within this framework, ICC will intervene only in the absence of genuine national proceedings. The complainants acknowledge that the ICC is yet to accede to their request and that there is no time limit by when the ICC must complete its preliminary investigations. Contrary to what is stated in the press release, there is no evidence that COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines are bioweapons. Earlier this year, in a Joint Study titled "WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part," the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted four possible pathways on how the virus may have originated and spread to the human population. None of the scenarios delineated by WHO include the global elite intentionally spreading the virus. Furthermore, it is proven that COVID-19 vaccines effectively reduce severe sickness and death from COVID-19 and have saved thousands of lives. A claim that has also been repeatedly debunked is that COVID-19 vaccines violate the Nuremberg Code. The Nuremberg Code is a set of 10 research ethics principles enshrined in the Geneva Conventions which broadly govern permissible medical experiments. The code emphasizes the importance of obtaining the voluntary consent of human subjects and that the experiment itself be governed by scientific research. Since COVID-19 vaccines have showcased their efficacy in medical trials and are not mandatory, it is clear that vaccine skeptics cannot invoke the code’s alleged violation to push their agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.