Preserving Vulnerable Evidence at the International Criminal Court – the Article 56 Milestone in Ongwen

in International Criminal Law Review
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Article 56 of the Rome Statute allows for the preservation of evidence that may not be available at trial. In 2015, this provision was invoked to record the testimony of seven vulnerable victims of sexual and gender-based crimes in the Dominic Ongwen case. Occurring in the pre-trial phase of the case, before charges were pleaded or even confirmed, this overlooked development sets an important judicial precedent at the International Criminal Court (icc). It represents a milestone precedent for future cases, not just in terms of circumventing situations of witness interference, but more importantly, in safeguarding vulnerable victims and witnesses, and preserving their evidence for any eventual trial.