Office of Prosecutor publishes Draft Policy on Situation Completion for consultation


Today, 25 March 2021, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), published its draft Policy on Situation Completion for consultation and comments by States Parties to the Rome Statute, civil society, and the wider community of stakeholders. This policy initiative responds to commitments made in the Office’s Strategic Plan (2019-2021).

While designed to be consistent with, and to complete the trilogy of ‘procedural’ policy papers commenced with the Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations (2013) and the Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritization (2016), the draft Policy on Situation Completion addresses matters such as:

  • The Situation Strategy, which serves as the benchmark for the Prosecutor in deciding whether the docket of cases to be prosecuted (the “Prosecutorial Programme”) is sufficient;
  • The broad division in the Office’s work between the “Investigation Phase” and the “Prosecution Phase”;
  • The scope of the Office’s work in the Investigation Phase, including the need to manage selected cases which have been effectively de-prioritised; and
  • The scope of the Office’s work in the Prosecution Phase, both in concluding the Prosecutorial Programme, and residual activities.

The draft Policy seeks to illustrate the considerations leading to the decision-in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion-that sufficient prosecutions have been brought in a situation to satisfy the Office’s mandate under the Rome Statute.

The Office is of the view that external consultations on its policies and working methods are helpful to the ends of transparency and predictability. Wider external consultation is also important in ensuring that the Office ultimately adopts a policy that is comprehensive and thoroughly considered.

The Office therefore welcomes and encourages comments on its draft Policy. Comments can be sent to: [email protected], by Wednesday, 21 April 2021, midnight (CET). All input received will be carefully considered in the internal review and revision process.

The Office is grateful for the interest and support of the Rome Statute community for its activities and initiatives.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi; Bangladesh/Myanmar, Afghanistan (subject to a pending article 18 deferral request) and Palestine. The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Colombia; Guinea; the Philippines; and Venezuela (I and II); and has recently completed its preliminary examinations of the situations in Ukraine and Nigeria, which are pending requests to seek authorisation to proceed to investigation.

Public Release. More on this here.