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

In: International Criminal Law Review
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  • 1 Tilburg University, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • 2 Tilburg University, Netherlands
  • 3 VU University, 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.

  • 21

    Kenya authorization decision, supra note 14, para. 56.

  • 25

    De Guzman, supra note 9, p. 1432.

  • 43

    Estimate by Hawkins, supra note 37, p. 14.

  • 44

    Hawkins, ibid., p. 16.

  • 56

    Hawkins, supra note 37, p. 15.

  • 72

    Hawkins, supra note 37, p. 16. See also estimates by Coghlan et al, see supra note 37.

  • 84

    DeGuzman, supra note 9, p. 1461.

  • 85

    DeGuzman and Schabas, supra note 5.

  • 97

    Human Security Report, supra note 37, p. 115.

  • 128

    Kenya authorization decision, supra note 14.

  • 130

    Forsythe, supra note 81, p. 853.

  • 133

    The Human Security Report 2005, supra note 37, p. 4 concluded: “At the turn of the 21st century more people were being killed in wars in this region than in the rest of the world combined.”

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