Today, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, published her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2018). The report provides an overview of her Office’s preliminary examination activities conducted between 1 December 2017 and 30 November 2018 in relation to ten situations under consideration for possible investigation.
During the reporting period, the Office of the Prosecutor (“OTP” or “Office”) opened three new preliminary examinations relating to, respectively, the situation in the Philippines, the situation in Venezuela, and the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a State Party to the Rome Statute. Two situations already subject to preliminary examination by the Office were referred to the Prosecutor. These are the situation in Palestine (by the State of Palestine, on 22 May 2018) and the situation in Venezuela (by a group of State Parties, on 27 September 2018).
Additionally, on 21 September 2018, following a thorough examination, the Prosecutor concluded that there was no reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Gabon, and closed this preliminary examination. The Office further continued its preliminary examinations of the situations in Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/United Kingdom (“UK”), Nigeria, Palestine, 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 2018 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 eighth 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, war crimes and aggression. 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. Pre-Trial Chamber II 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 Bangladesh/Myanmar; Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; the Philippines; Nigeria; Ukraine, and Venezuela.
Source: Office of the Prosecutor