1 1Research fellow at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies/Institute for International Law, University of Leuven
2 2Professor of International Law and the Law of International Organizations, Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Institute for International Law, University of Leuven; Of Counsel, Linklaters, Brussels
3 3Research Fellow at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies/ Institute for International Law, University of Leuven
This contribution critically appraises the institutional position which is held by the International Criminal Court's Office of the Prosecutor. Especially, it will be asked whether and to what extent the latter is « independent » in its activities, or whether and to what extent other actors – both inside and outside the Court – can hamper the Office of the Prosecutor's margin to independently manoeuver. Against the background of the debates preceding the Rome Statute's adoption, where it was feared that the Office of the Prosecutor would become an actor that would no longer be controllable by anyone, the logical counterpart of the first question will necessarily need to assess to what extent the Office of the Prosecutor has been rendered instutionally accountable. Throughout, particular emphasis will be put on the oversight which can be exercised by the Pre-Trial Chamber. This, together with other practical factors which can constrain the Prosecutor's scope of action, leads to the conclusion that many checks and balances seriously hamper the realities of the theoretical affirmation that the Office of the Prosecutor would be an institutionally independent actor.