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Update on ICC Preliminary Examinations: Dec. 2012 – Jan. 2013

The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is in charge of determining whether a situation meets the legal criteria established by the Rome Statute to warrant investigation by the ICC. In order to fulfill this purpose, the Office conducts preliminary examinations of all situations that come to its attention based on statutory criteria and available information.

The situations currently under preliminary examination by the OTP of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are those of Afghanistan, Honduras, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Republic of Korea and Nigeria. The OTP’s preliminary examination on Afghanistan, Honduras, Republic of Korea and Nigeria focuses on subject-matter jurisdiction. Those on Colombia, Georgia and Guinea focus on admissibility and complementarity issues.

The OTP has also concluded some preliminary examinations such as in the case of Mali; where the ICC Prosecutor has opened a formal investigation into alleged crimes committed in Mali following the six-month preliminary examination. The situation in Syria is not under OTP preliminary examination. This is even after a referral letter was sent, by the government of Switzerland with support from over 50 other States, to the United Nations Security Council and extensive lobbying from civil society calling for the situation in Syria to be referred to the ICC.

The Office of the Prosecutor [L-R]: Fatou Bensouda [Prosecutor], James Stewart [Deputy Prosecutor], Phakiso Mochochoko [Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division] and Michel de Smedt [Head Investigations]

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