The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, issues her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2017)
Today, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, published her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2017). The report provides an overview of her Office's preliminary examination activities conducted between 1 October 2016 and 30 November 2017 in relation to ten situations under consideration for possible investigation.
During the reporting period, the Office of the Prosecutor ("OTP" or "Office") completed three preliminary examinations, including two resulting in a decision to seek judicial authorisation to open an investigation (in relation to the situations in the Republic of Burundi and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, respectively) and one reaffirming a previous decision to close this preliminary examination short of a reasonable basis to proceed (respecting the situation on the Registered Vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia). Seven situations remain under on-going examination, namely: Colombia, Gabonese Republic, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Palestine, Nigeria, and Ukraine.
The report provides a summary of the current status of each situation under preliminary examination, including the Office's current analyses with regard to issues of jurisdiction and admissibility, as well as the activities carried out by the OTP in 2017 in order to further this work.
The report aims to promote public awareness and transparency regarding the Office's preliminary examination process and related activities.
This is the seventh annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities published by the Office. The Office began releasing these reports in 2011 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties.
Under the Rome Statute, the Office is required to conduct an examination of all communications and situations brought to its attention in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation. The factors set out in article 53(1)(a)-(c) of the Rome Statute establish the legal framework for a preliminary examination. In order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, the Prosecutor shall consider jurisdiction (temporal, either territorial or personal, and material); admissibility (complementarity and gravity), and the interests of justice.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi. Since 20 November 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber III is seized of the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Colombia; the Gabonese Republic; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; Nigeria; and Ukraine.