Is Germany building a case to charge Australian ministers for crimes against humanity?
With calls for the ICC to investigate the Australian government going unheard, some are looking to a far-reaching code that gives the German judiciary the ability to prosecute crimes against humanity, even if they have no relation to the country.
Germany is one of the few nations in the world to allow the prosecution of serious human rights abuses even where the accuser and the accused have no connection with Germany, a process called universal jurisdiction. Lawyers from the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin are currently seeking to bring to justice members of the Assad regime who are alleged to have tortured Syrians.
Given the lack of interest that the International Criminal Court has shown in investigating possible crimes against humanity committed by members of the Abbott and Turnbull governments in respect to asylum seekers detained on Nauru and Manus Island, does the German legal system provide an alternative way forward to hold ministers such as Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton to account?