Europe & UK

November 17, 2016

The Prosecutor Of The International Criminal Court Issues Annual Report On Preliminary Examination Activities (2016)

international criminal court

On 14 November 2016, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, published her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2016). The report provides an overview of her Office's preliminary examination activities conducted between 1 November 2015 and 31 October 2016 in relation to ten situations under consideration for possible investigation.

During the reporting period, the Office of the Prosecutor ("OTP" or "Office") opened two new preliminary examinations - specifically, those in relation to situations in Burundi and the Gabonese Republic. Eight situations remain under on-going examination: Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Palestine, Nigeria, Ukraine and the situation respecting the Registered Vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia ("Comoros"). As detailed in the report, the Prosecutor is planning to reach the final determination with respect to the situation in Afghanistan and the Comoros referral in the very near future.

The report provides a summary of the current status of each situation under preliminary examination, including the Office's current analyses with regard to the issues of jurisdiction and admissibility, as well as the activities carried out by the OTP in 2016 in order to advance this work.

The report aims to raise public awareness and promote transparency regarding the Office's preliminary examinationprocess and related activities.


This is the sixth annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities published by the Office. The Office began releasing these reports in 2011 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties.

Under the Rome Statute, the Office is required to conduct an examination of all communications and 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 preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting ten investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two separate investigations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali and Georgia. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to situations in Afghanistan; Burundi; Colombia; the Gabonese Republic; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; Nigeria; Ukraine and the Comoros referral.

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