International court referral has ‘no credibility’: PM

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia needs to invest in green energy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia needs to invest in green energy. Photo: AAP

The prime minister has dismissed a referral to the International Criminal Court that accused members of federal parliament of supporting alleged war crimes in the Middle East.

Anthony Albanese said the referral to the court, made by Sydney-based law firm Birchgrove Legal, did not have any credibility.

The referral said the government, including prime minister, Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Defence Minister Richard Marles and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton provided “explicit political, rhetorical, moral, military and material support” for alleged war crimes carried out by Israel.

Speaking to reporters in Melbourne at the ASEAN-Australia summit, Mr Albanese said there was no basis to the referral.

“I don’t wish to comment particularly on something that clearly has no credibility going forward,” he said.

“I don’t think that peaceful resolution is advanced by misinformation, and there has been substantial amounts of misinformation about what is occurring.”

Albanese said Australia’s stance on the Middle Eastern conflict was still consistent with a joint statement it had put out alongside New Zealand and Canada in February, which urged for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

That statement also called for the release of hostages as well as further humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

“Australia joined a majority in the UN to call for an immediate ceasefire and to advocate for the release of hostages the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the upholding of international law and the protection of civilians,” Mr Albanese said.

“If you go back to the resolution that was carried with the support of both major parties in October, they made it very clear that every innocent life matters, whether it’s Israeli or Palestinian.”

Barrister Sheryn Omeri, who is advising the legal team who made the court referral, told ABC TV the government had “accessorial liability” for alleged war crimes in the Middle East.

“Between (October) and now, there has been very little in the way of urging restraint on Israel and discouraging what the International Court of Justice found on January 26 to be a plausible case of genocide,” she said.


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