Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes (Who is Guarding the Guardians)? – Decision Processes in the icc’s Offences Against the Administration of Justice

In: The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
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  • 1 University of Sussex

This article examines the legal framework and practice regarding offences against the administration of justice within the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As the icc adds more investigations and prosecutions, offences against the administration of justice in the form of witness interference and tampering, false testimony presentations and misconduct by or against officials of the Court are becoming common ground or prevalent. The mechanism provided for in Articles 70 and 71 of the Rome Statute when read with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (rpe) grants powers to investigate and prosecute such offences. Decision-making, legal interpretation and policy formulation have become a challenge. In tackling this, this article analyses the legislative formulation of these offences; it then focuses on the policy evolution and development of the practice of predecessor tribunals. In conclusion, the article suggests opportunities for the icc’s legal interpretation and policy alternatives regarding future trends in offences against the administration of justice.

  • 4

    See, generally, D. Bosco, Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

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  • 15

    F.S. Timpson, supra note 6, 536.

  • 18

    W. Schabas, The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 854; “Report of the Working Group on Procedural Matters”, un Doc. A/CONF.183/C.1/WGPM/L.2/Add.7; Articles 70 and 71 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; Rules 169–172 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (icc rpe).

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  • 26

    Schabas, supra note 18, 857.

  • 52

    Statute Conference on 30 August 2013, ICC-01/05-T-2-CONF-EXP-ENG; Statute Conference on 25 September 2013, ICC-01/05-T-3-CONF-EXP-ENG; Status Conference on 10 October 2013, ICC-01/05-T-4-CONF-EXP-ENG; Rapport intermédiaire du conseil ad hoc of 1 October 2013, ICC-01/05-59-CONF-EXP, with confidential ex parte Annex A.

  • 56

    G. Roberts, supra note 1, para. 589, mostly referred to by the term “contempt of court” proceedings.

  • 78

    Turner, “Policing International Prosecutors”, supra note 63, p. 183.

  • 80

    Roberts, supra note 1, para. 589; “Proposals submitted by the United States on Offences Against the Integrity of the Court”, un Doc. A/AC.249/WP.41.

  • 112

    S.N. Ngane, The Position of Witnesses Before the International Criminal Court (Leiden: Brill/Nijhoff, 2013), pp. 329–330; see also O. Trifferer, “Article 71, Sanctions for Misconduct before the Court”, in O. Trifferer (ed.), Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Observers’ Notes, Article by Article (Verlag Beck, 2008), pp. 1347–1360.

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  • 126

    Ngane, “Should States Bear Responsibility of Imposing Sanctions on Its Citizens Who as Witnesses Commit Crimes Before the ICC?”, supra note 120, p. 143.

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  • 127

    See generally, G. Sluiter, International Criminal Adjudication and the Collection of Evidence: Obligations of States (Antwerp, Oxford, New York: Intersentia, 2002).

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  • 129

    S.N. Ngane, The Position of Witnesses Before the International Criminal Court (Leiden: Brill/Nijhoff, 2013), p. 262.

  • 135

    S. Ngane, supra note 120, p. 143.

  • 183

    Greenwalt, supra note 5, p. 587.

  • 197

    Cryer, supra note 2, pp. 201–203.

  • 201

    Ibid., pp. 500–501.

  • 211

    Ambos, supra note 209, p. 1.

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