Once the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has sufficient evidence against an individual, it submits a request to the Pre-Trial judges to issue a warrant of arrest or summons to appear.
The judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber will issue a warrant of arrest if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a crime within the Court's jurisdiction and that the person will not appear voluntarily before the Court, will endanger the proceedings or investigation, or will continue committing crimes if not arrested. If the judges believe that the person will cooperate and come to the Court voluntarily, they can issue a summons to appear. Once either an arrest warrant or a summons to appear is issued, a case enters the Pre-Trial stage, during which the Pre-Trial Chamber judges determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
First is the initial appearance hearing. The judges confirm the suspect's identity and make sure that he or she understands the charges. Other practical issues are decided on, such as in which language the suspect will be able to follow the proceedings. The second major hearing is the confirmation of charges hearing, during which the Prosecution and Defence each present their case, and the Legal Representatives of Victims present the victims' views and concerns. If there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crimes charged, the judges can decide to commit the case to trial
. If not, the judges either decide to close the case or ask the Prosecution for additional evidence or amended the charges. These decisions may be appealed under specific conditions and with the judges' authorisation.