Preliminary examination

Democratic Republic of the Congo II


On 23 May 2023, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC received a second referral from the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) under article 14 of the Rome Statute regarding the situation in its own territory, in accordance with its prerogatives as a State Party to the Rome Statute. The first referral, received in March 2004 from the Government of the DRC, resulted in the assignment by the Presidency of the situation in the DRC to Pre-Trial Chamber I on 5 July 2004.


In its second referral, the Government of DRC requests the Prosecutor to initiate an investigation with respect to alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed in North Kivu, DRC, from 1 January 2022 to date.

On 15 June 2023, the Presidency assigned the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo II to Pre-Trial Chamber I.

Next steps

Further to the referral, the Office will conduct a preliminary examination of the information received, strictly guided by the requirements of the Statute.

A State Party referral does not automatically lead to the opening of an investigation. The receipt of a referral may expedite the process of opening an investigation only to the extent that judicial review of the Prosecutor's decision to open an investigation would not be required under the Statute.

Specifically, under article 53(1) of the Statute, the Prosecutor must consider issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice in making this determination. The Office will independently evaluate and analyse all information available and give consideration to all submissions and views conveyed to it, including any observation by the competent national authorities concerning any relevant investigation and prosecution at the national level.

In this particular case, where a State Party has submitted two separate referrals, the Office will initially assess whether the scope of the two situations referred by the DRC Government are sufficiently linked to constitute a single situation.