The current column covers some selected procedural developments at the International Criminal Court (“icc”) in 2014. During the reporting period, the caseload of the Court continued to increase. The Court delivered numerous decisions on many subjects, several of which have contributed to the clarification of certain aspects of proceedings before the Court.
However, on 16 January2015, Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the Court’s custody and he was transferred to the Detention Centre of the Court on 21 January 2015. On 6 February 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber ii severed the proceedings against Dominic Ongwen from the case of The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen (ptcii, Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen, Decision Severing the Case Against Dominic Ongwen, 6 February 2014, icc-02/04-01/05-424).
In a decision rendered on 11 July2014, Pre-Trial Chamber i refused to grant Libya an extension of time until 20 August 2014 to provide its submissions concerning its obligation to surrender Mr Gaddafi, but it accepted to do so concerning the submissions related to the material seized from the former Counsel for Mr Gaddafi. However, by the end of 2014, Libya had not yet transmitted its observations. On 11 July 2014, the Chamber also noted a positive evolution concerning Libya’s obligation to organise a legal visit to Mr Al-Senussi by his Defence (See: ptci, Prosecutor v. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi, Decision on matters related to Libya’s duties to cooperate with the Court, 11 July 2014, icc-01/11-01/11-563).
Ibid., 494–495. The author reported in particular the argument according to which the Security Council is not able to modify the Statute and cannot remove the obligation incumbent upon the Court under Article 98(1) of the Statute. See for instance: Paola Gaeta, “Guest Post: The icc Changes its Mind on the immunity from arrest of President Al Bashir, but it is wrong again”, 23 April 2014, at www.opiniojuris.org.
On 5 September2014, the Prosecution filed a notice in which it noted that “From an evidentiary standpoint, the situation is the same as when the Prosecution sought an adjournment of the trial date on 19 December 2013”: tcv(b), Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Prosecution notice regarding the provisional trial date, 5 September 2014, icc-01/09-02/11-944.
On 29 May2015, the Appeals Chamber reversed the impugned decision and remanded the matter to Trial Chamber vii (See: ac, Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Magenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido, Judgment on the appeals against Pre-Trial Chamber ii’s decisions regarding interim release in relation to Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Magenda, Fidèle Babala Wandu, and Narcisse Arido and order for reclassification, 29 May 2015, icc-01/05-01/13-969). However, given the length of time that had passed since their release, the Appeals Chamber found that it was not “in the interests of justice for the suspects to be re-arrested because of the reversal of the Impugned Decision”; consequently, the Chamber maintained the order of release of the four suspects.