Palestine


On 22 January 2009, the Palestinian National Authority lodged a declaration with the Registrar under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute which allows States not party to the Statute to accept the Court’s jurisdiction. The OTP obligation is to examine issues related to its jurisdiction: first whether the declaration accepting the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court meets statutory requirements; and second whether crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction have been committed. Given that the ICC is a court of last resort, the Office also has to consider whether there are national proceedings in relation to alleged crimes, relating to the admissibility of the cases potentially arising from the situation.

The Office received over 400 communications on crimes allegedly committed in Palestine.

The Palestinian National Authority requested the right to be heard on the fulfilment of the statutory requirements for opening an investigation, including on the issue as to whether Palestine qualifies as a “State” for the purpose of article 12, paragraph 3, of the Statute. The Office considered that a fair process required that the Palestinian National Authority as well as other interested parties have the opportunity to be heard. The Office therefore ensured due process to all parties involved. Representatives of the Palestinian National Authority presented arguments through oral and written submissions. A summary of the submissions is available here.

The Office has also considered various public reports and organized an interactive discussion among the various experts and NGOs that had provided submissions at the seat of the Court during its biannual round table on 20 October 2010.

In July 2011, the Office updated the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to its request for information on steps taken by the Office of the Prosecutor with regard to the Palestinian declaration.

The Prosecutor met with various stakeholders, including representatives of the Palestinian National Authority, the secretariat of the League of Arab States and a number of Palestinian and Israeli NGOs to discuss the jurisdiction of the Court.

On 3 April 2012, the Office of the Prosecutor issued a decision in relation to its preliminary examination in Palestine.

For more information see the OTP Report on Preliminary Examinations.

Relevant documents, reports and statements: