Prof. Boyle: South Africa Should Win Its Case against Israel for Genocide

A special guest at the International Peace Coalition’s meeting on Jan. 19, was Francis Boyle, an American human rights lawyer, and Professor of international law at the Illinois University’s College of Law, who discussed the South African filing against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague (cf. SAS, 2,3/24). Professor Boyle served as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993, and won that country’s case against Yugoslavia to cease and desist all acts of genocide. As he explained in his remarks, “I was the first lawyer ever to win anything from the International Court of Justice on the basis of the Genocide Convention.”

Concerning the case today of genocide in Gaza, he told the IPC he believes that “South Africa will win an order of provisional measures of protection against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians”. Speaking, that is, on a strictly legal basis. “But as a political matter, massive pressure is being applied. I’m sure those judges of the World Court today are being blackmailed, threatened, bullied, and intimidated by the United States and Israel and their supporters to rule against the Republic of South Africa.”

Prof. Boyle added that the Biden Administration and the British could also be charged, under Article 3 of the Genocide Convention, with complicity to commit genocide. Overall, he is convinced that South Africa’s case is solid and will have enormous implications globally if it is successful.

An issue that came up in the discussion was the attempt by attorney Malcolm Shaw, representing the State of Israel, to have the procedure declared invalid on technical grounds, namely the lack of the existence of a “dispute” between the two parties, that required the intervention of a third party to resolve. Prof. Boyle refuted this argument, on the basis of the precedent set by the cases he had won in The Hague.

Of note also is that Boyle charged another barrister for Israel, Christopher Staker, of willingly “lying through his teeth”, concerning an order obtained by Boyle in September 1993. Staker claimed that the ICJ had rejected an additional recommendation of legal action to the court, calling on Yugoslavia to “cease and desist” the genocide of Bosnians. While it is true that the court rejected the additional provisional measure, it was only because it was a repetition of the April ruling calling on Yugoslavia to cease and desist the genocide of Bosnians – and it was thus deemed unnecessary to issue a second ruling. Instead, the court demanded the “immediate and effective implementation of those [earlier] measures” against genocide.

The intervention of Prof. Boyle at the IPC meeting can be read at

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