Back to Africa Check

No global leaders indicted at ‘international court’ for Covid-19 vaccine ‘crimes against humanity’

“Government Leaders Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity in the International Court,” begins a message posted on the Facebook page “Vaccine Awareness South Africa – VASA on 25 November 2020.

The message links to an article on the site Vaccine Decisions, and quotes most of the article word for word. 

It says “tribunal judges in the International Court for Common Law and Natural Justice” have indicted “the heads of many governments including Donald Trump, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson” for distributing Covid-19 vaccines and rolling out 5G installations.

It makes several other startling claims, such as that the Covid-19 vaccine “will enable governments to collect our biometric data (personal identification) after vaccination” and that governments and airlines are ignoring “epigenetics” in forcing the vaccine on all international travellers.

The VASA page is described as “committed to educating about vaccines, informed consent and how to prevent and treat disease as naturally as possible”. 

But most of the posts on the page, which was created in 2013, repeat debunked conspiracy theories. 

These include false claims that the Covid-19 virus was created by billionaire software developer Bill Gates so he could make money from an eventual vaccine, the white trails left in the sky by aircraft are chemical trails or “chemtrails” and contain a “hell toxin” and fungi deliberately being sprayed on people, and that there is a greater chance of an asteroid hitting the Earth than a person dying from Covid-19. 

None of these claims are true. But is VASA correct that world leaders – Trump, Morrison,  Johnson and others – are being tried at an international level?

Not recognised international court

The first red flag that something is fishy in the message is in the headline itself. When reading that someone is being charged “in the International Court”, most readers are likely to assume this is the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands. 

The ICC “can prosecute and bring to justice individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”. No other court has this mandate globally, though in the past institutions have been set up to try crimes committed during particular periods in history, such as the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. 

An online search for the phrase “International Court for Common Law and Natural Justice” only returns results from the article and social media posts that copy it. 

There is no International Court for Common Law and Natural Justice. 

It is unclear who or what group, if any, is pretending to be this court, but it is not an internationally recognised body.

And no such charges have been laid against world leaders at the ICC or the International Court of Justice, also in the Hague. (The court of justice does not try individuals, but settles disputes between countries.)

No vaccine for Covid-19 being distributed yet

While much media attention has been trained on the imminent roll-out of successful vaccines, at the time of writing no countries were yet distributing a Covid-19 vaccine

Large vaccine trials have taken place across the world, but as of 2 December 2020 – more than two weeks past the “17 November” court date claimed in the Facebook post – no world leader could be said to be responsible for “distributing Covid-19 vaccines”. 

Known anti-vaxxer, article edited

The author and owner of the website Vaccination Decisions is Judy Wilyman, an Australian anti-vaccination activist. 

Wilyman came to public attention in Australia in 2015 for receiving a doctorate from the University of Wollongong for a PhD thesis entitled: “A critical analysis of the Australian government’s rationale for its vaccination policy.” 

Many criticised the awarding of the doctorate, saying the thesis parroted debunked conspiracy theories.

Wilyman has also been critical of the Australian government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Wilyman appears to have changed the headline and some of the details originally in the article shared on social media. While the link on the VASA page still shows the headline Government Leaders Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity in the International Court”, the article itself is now headed “Government Vaccination Programs and Crimes against Humanity” and makes no mention of the “international court”. 

Much of the text is still the same as is reproduced by VASA and others on Facebook. 

But there is no evidence for the claims. No-one is being prosecuted on an international level for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. – Africa Check


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.