On May 19, 2009, the Spanish Parliament voted to amend the country’s universal jurisdiction laws that allowed for crude exploitation by NGOs such as the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). Under the current law, NGOs can initiate criminal investigations against foreign governments for alleged human rights abuses regarding events having no connection to Spain and without the knowledge or approval of Spanish officials. The proposed change would require the case to have a link to Spain.
Many NGOs responsible for using this framework to promote “lawfare” campaigns sought to prevent this change. HRW’s Reed Brody, who is very active in the abuse of promoting universal jurisdiction, falsely claimed the proposed law would allow “impunity to regain a foothold”; Brody has previously referred to US policies aimed at limit the exploitation of universal jurisdiction as an “ideological jihad.” Amnesty, whos false claims on Gaza are central the lawfare process, declared that “there will be more impunity.” PCHR, the EU-funded lead Palestinian exploiter of universal jurisdiction laws, issued several press releases, and FIDH (France) and EMHRN issued similar calls. (None of these organizations has pursued a universal jurisdiction case on behalf of victims of Palestinian terror.)
- For more on PCHR’s involvement with anti-Israel lawfare, see NGO Monitor’s Monograph, NGO Lawfare: Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- Anne Herzberg, “Lawfare Against Israel,” Wall Street Journal (Europe), November 5, 2008.