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Update: Deadline for submission of comments extended to 1st April 2016 | ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, issues Draft Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation, for comment


The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, today issued the Draft Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation for external consultation.

This Draft Policy complements the Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations released in November 2013, by clarifying how the Office of the Prosecutor selects and prioritises cases after a decision has been made to open an investigation into a situation.

In highlighting the importance of the policy, Prosecutor Bensouda stated: "one of the main goals of my tenure as Prosecutor is to strengthen trust and respect for the Office and its crucial mandate by ensuring further transparency and predictability in our operations. This goal is clearly reflected in our strategic plans, and demonstrated in how we fulfil our responsibilities under the Rome Statute.  This latest policy paper is another concrete commitment to this goal."

The Draft Policy Paper has been devised on the basis of the Rome Statute and other legal instruments of the International Criminal Court ("Court"). It also draws upon the Court's operational experience and jurisprudence gathered through the course of more than a decade of existence, as well as from national and international practice in this field.  The policy, inter alia:

  • establishes that the Office's case selection and prioritisation shall be guided by the principles of independence, impartiality and objectivity;

  • provides clarity with regard to the legal requirements applied in the selection and prioritisation of cases, as set out in the Rome Statute; and

  • outlines clear criteria for case selection and prioritisation.

The Office of the Prosecutor welcomes any comments on the Draft Policy to be sent to the following email address: [email protected] by Friday, the 18th of March 2016.

Following consideration of the comments received and any appropriate amendments to the draft, a final version of the policy will be adopted and launched thereafter.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office has been conducting 10 investigations in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two separate investigations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Georgia. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan; Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine, Nigeria and Ukraine.

Source : Office of the Prosecutor