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The Selection of Situations by the ICC: An Empirically Based Evaluation of the otp’s Performance

In: International Criminal Law Review
Authors:
Alette Smeulers Tilburg University, Tilburg; University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

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Maartje Weerdesteijn Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

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Barbora Hola VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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The main aim of the International Criminal Court (icc) is to prosecute the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. One of the most valued features of the icc is the independent position of the Prosecutor in selecting situations and cases to investigate. The Prosecutor, however, has been heavily criticized for his selection policy and countries from the African Union even threatened to withdraw from the icc because of its alleged bias and unfair focus on African political leaders. In this article we present the results of our explorative study in which we empirically evaluate the situations selection policy of the icc Prosecutor. We conclude that given the icc’s limited jurisdictional reach, the Prosecutor is generally focusing on the gravest situations where international crimes are supposedly committed.

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