ICJP puts Trinity College Cambridge on notice for investing in companies potentially complicit in war crimes and genocide

London, 28th February 2024- The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has issued Trinity College Cambridge with a legal notice indicating that officers, directors and shareholders at the college may be individually criminally liable if they maintain their investments in arms companies that are potentially complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The legal notice was issued follows information released last week under the Freedom of Information Act that Trinity College Cambridge has investments worth millions in American, British and Japanese companies which are directly involved in Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza, including a £61,735 investment in Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems. Other companies included Caterpillar, General Electric, Toyota Corporation, Rolls-Royce, Barclays Bank and L3Harris Industries. 

The letter sets out the legal case regarding potential complicity in war crimes and the crime of genocide, drawing attention to the Rome Statute, the Genocide Convention and the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures on plausible genocide in Gaza. ICJP also offered to provide Trinity College with an evidence dossier already provided to Scotland Yard and the International Criminal Court, including eyewitness testimony, should the College require it. 

ICJP have called on Trinity College to confirm as a matter of urgency, whether they intend on suspending their current investments in the aforementioned companies in order to remove any criminal liability. The ICJP has given Trinity a deadline to respond by the 12th March 2024 what their intentions are.

Trinity’s decision to continue to invest in arms companies potentially complicit in Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is particularly at odds with the college’s 2021 decision to divest from fossil fuels, following a student campaign. 

ICJP Senior Public Affairs and Communications Officer Jonathan Purcell said:

“It seems that Trinity College has a bit of a pick-n-mix approach to investment ethics. If they are committed to fossil fuel divestment, it shouldn’t exactly be a major leap to also divest from arms companies and other companies that are potentially complicit in Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Elbit Systems, Caterpillar and other companies that Trinity has a stake in are not only potentially complicit in Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, but they have also contributed to home demolitions, West Bank barrier construction and other tools of apartheid. Investment in these companies was already morally bankrupt, but in the current circumstances, it is beyond belief that Trinity would choose to continue investing in them.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians is an independent organisation of lawyers, politicians and academics who support the rights of Palestinians and aim to protect their rights through the law.  
  2. For more information, to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, or to view a full copy of the letter, please contact the ICJP news desk at [email protected].