Preliminary examinations

The Office of the Prosecutor (“Office” or “OTP”) of the International Criminal Court (“Court”) is responsible for determining whether a situation meets the legal criteria established by the Rome Statute (“Statute”) to warrant investigation by the Office.

For this purpose, the OTP conducts a preliminary examination of all communications and situations that come to its attention based on the statutory criteria and the information available.

The preliminary examination of a situation by the Office may be initiated on the basis of: a) information sent by individuals or groups, States, intergovernmental or non-governmental organisations; b) a referral from a State Party or the United Nations Security Council; or (c) a declaration lodged by a State accepting the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court pursuant to article 12(3) of the Statute.  

Once a situation is thus identified, the factors set out in article 53(1) (a)-(c) of the Statute establish the legal framework for a preliminary examination.  This article provides that, in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation, the Prosecutor shall consider: jurisdiction (temporal, either territorial or personal, and material); admissibility (complementarity and gravity); and the interests of justice.

Focus: Alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Afghanistan since 1 May 2003

Focus: Alleged war crimes committed since 1 November 2009 and alleged crimes against humanity committed since 1 November 2002 in Colombia

Phase 3: Admissibility

Focus: Alleged crimes under the ICC's jurisdiction committed in Gabon since May 2016

Phase 2: Subject-matter jurisdiction

Focus: Alleged crimes against humanity committed in the context of the 28 September 2009 events in Conakry, Guinea

Phase 3: Admissibility

Focus: Alleged war crimes committed by United Kingdom nationals in the context of the Iraq conflict and occupation from 2003 to 2008

Phase 2: Subject-matter jurisdiction

Focus: Alleged crimes against humanity or war crimes committed in the Niger Delta, the Middle-Belt States and in the context of armed conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces in Nigeria.

Phase 3: Admissibility

Current focus: Alleged crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014

Phase 2: Subject-matter jurisdiction

Focus: Alleged crimes committed in the context of the "Maidan" protests since 21 November and other events in Ukraine since 20 February 2014

Phase 2: Subject-matter jurisdiction

Preliminary examinations

8

Situations under investigation

11