ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has issued her Office’s annual report on preliminary examinations (PEs) – conducted to determine whether to open a full investigation. In the reporting period, one PE proceeded to an investigation, two were closed, while eight remain under examination – of which two are newly-opened. The report is in English, with relevant sections in French and Spanish.
From the ICC press release: “The report provides an overview of her Office’s analysis and activities conducted between 1 November 2013 and 31 October 2014 in relation to eleven situations that were under consideration for possible investigation. Of these eleven situations, one proceeded to investigation (the Central African Republic), two were closed after the Prosecutor determined that the legal criteria for opening an investigation were not met (Republic of Korea; Registered Vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia), and eight situations remain under on-going examination (Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria and Ukraine). Of these eight, two new preliminary examinations were opened during the reporting period in relation to the situation in Ukraine and the situation in Iraq.
The report provides a summary of the current status of each situation under preliminary examination, including the Office of the Prosecutor’s (“OTP” or “Office”) current analysis with regard to issues of jurisdiction and admissibility, as well as the activities carried out by the Office in 2014 in order to further this analysis. The report aims to help promote better public understanding and transparency regarding the Office’s preliminary examination process, which is the first step required to undertake prior to initiating an investigation.
Under the Rome Statute, the Office is required to conduct a preliminary examination of all situations brought to its attention in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation. The factors set out in article 53(1) (a)-(c) of the Rome Statute establish the legal framework for a preliminary examination. In order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, the Prosecutor shall consider jurisdiction (temporal, either territorial or personal, and material); admissibility (complementarity and gravity); and the interests of justice.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently conducting eight investigations: Uganda; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; Central African Republic; Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria and Ukraine.”
OTP – Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2014)
OTP – Informe sobre las Actividades de Examen Preliminar de 2014 (Honduras y Colombia)
OTP – Rapport sur les activités menées en matière d’examen préliminaire (2014) (Situations en Guinée et République Centrafricaine