Self-referral practice has been the main source of cases before the International Criminal Court (icc) to date. This practice provokes significant questions as to its roots, legality and implications on the jurisdiction of the Court in general and the principle of complementarity in particular. Thus, the article, after considering the legal, factual and political considerations attached to self-referral, argues that self-referral, as utilized and encouraged by the icc since its inception, signals a departure of the purposive rationale of the principle of complementarity as the drafting history and the current wording of the Statute reveals, and this could have a detrimental effect on the credibility and impartiality of the Court.
Kresssupra note 24 p. 946; Federica Gioia ‘State Sovereignty Jurisdiction and ‘Modern’ International Law: The Principle of Complementarity in the International Criminal Court’ 19 Leiden Journal of International Law (2006) 1095 p. 1114.
Kresssupra note 24 p. 945.
Letter of Jurisdiction 28 May2004mentioned in Warrant of Arrest for Joseph Kony issued on 8 July 2005 as amended on 27 September 2005 (icc-02/04-01/05) 27 September 2005 p. 37.
Policy Paper 2003supra note 32 p. 4. The current Prosecutor had contemplated this scenario in his 2003 Policy Paper when he gave the example that ‘There may also be cases where a third State has extra-territorial jurisdiction but all interested parties agree that the Court has developed superior evidence and expertise relating to that situation making the Court the more effective forum’.