Social media posts have celebrated the purported arrest and sentencing of a group world leaders, including the Queen, for “crimes against humanity” by an international court.
But the celebrations are misplaced as experts told AAP FactCheck the so-called court has no legal authority to issue arrest warrants against anyone and its judgments are meaningless.
The posts from New Zealand and Australia claim the “International Common Law Court of Justice” has convicted 75 individuals to life imprisonment including Pope Francis, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer.
“After a four-month trial convened under International Law, the judges of the International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ) issued their historic verdict and sentence today, along with Arrest and Expropriation Warrants against the defendants,” the latter post says.
“The convicted individuals include Albert Bourla and Emma Walmsley, the CEO’s of Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Xi Jinping, President of China, ‘Pope’ Francis (Jorge Bergoglio), ‘Queen’ Elizabeth (Windsor), and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.”
The post shares a Bitchute video of a man who introduces himself as “Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice”, who claims he is chief advisor to the “Common Law Court of Justice in Brussels” and to its prosecutor’s office (video mark 20 sec).
Annett, a former Canadian church minister who was removed for spreading conspiracy theories, says the verdict he is delivering on the court’s behalf has to do with “the perpetrators of the COVID Corporate Police State”. The judgment details are linked to a website for Annett’s book, Murder By Decree.
But the court does not exist as a legal authority in any jurisdiction. There is no mention of it on the UN list of courts and tribunals while a Reuters investigation concluded the court had no legal standing and appeared to be “an invention” of Annett.
In his own explanation of the ICLCJ, Annett says it was “founded as a lawful Citizens’ Tribunal of Conscience on September 15, 2012”. Its only legal authority is “natural and customary laws”.
An expert in international law and human rights, Professor Kevin Heller of Australian National University, who is also a special adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor for International Criminal Law Discourse, described the ICLCJ as a fabrication.
“It is a private initiative that has adopted a fancy name to make it seem like a real one,” Prof Heller told AAP FactCheck in an email.
“Basically a right-wing version of a People’s Tribunal (such as the Russell Tribunal during the Vietnam War). Because it is not a real court, it has no authority to issue an arrest warrant for any one. So any ‘conviction’ of the Queen or Pope or anyone is meaningless.”
Prof Heller said the only international court that could find individual criminal responsibility was the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Steven Freeland, emeritus professor at Western Sydney University and professorial fellow at Bond University, told AAP FactCheck there was no such thing as the International Common Law Court of Justice.
“There are many international courts and tribunals, but that’s not one of them,” he said in a phone interview.
Prof Freeland said the ICC was solely involved in the prosecution of individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He said the role of International Court of Justice (IJC), sometimes called the World Court, is to resolve disputes between countries.
Treasa Dunworth of Auckland University, an expert in international criminal law, agreed that the ICLCJ “doesn’t exist”, telling AAP FactCheck via email that there wouldn’t be a prosecution in connection with Annett’s claims because “there isn’t the slightest chance that imposing mandatory vaccinations meets” the threshold of crimes against humanity.
No valid arrest warrants have been issued against the Queen or Pope as the International Common Law Court of Justice has no legal authority or jurisdiction, international criminal law experts told AAP FactCheck. Arrest warrants and judgments by the so-called court are meaningless. The only court which can investigate and pursue charges for crimes against humanity is the International Criminal Court.
False – The claim is inaccurate.