Coalition for the International Criminal Court
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Cases & Situations
Cases & Situations
Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo in the courtroom during ICC\'s first trial. Credit: ICC-CPI
The International Criminal Court deals with a number of situations at any time.
Within these situations there are a number of cases and accused. Since 2003, the ICC Prosecutor has received and analyzed information about alleged crimes in many conflicts around the world and has initiated several investigations.

Situations can be referred to the Court by a state party to the Rome Statute (the ICC's founding treaty), and the UN Security Council. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) can also initiate an investigation through a “proprio motu” power. The Court may then exercise its jurisdiction over the matter if either the state in whose territory the crime was committed (territorial jurisdiction), or the state of the nationality of the accused, is a party to the statute (active nationality jurisdiction).

Non-states parties may accept the Court’s jurisdiction on an ad hoc basis. When a matter is referred by the UN Security Council, the Court has jurisdiction regardless of whether the State concerned is a party to the ICC treaty.

The OTP is currently conducting investigations in:
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),Northern Uganda, the Central African Republic and Mali - all state referrals.
Darfur, Sudan and Libya - UN Security Council referrals.
Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire - Prosecutor’s initiative, authorized by ICC judges.
The Court will have to meet the highest standards of independence, effectiveness and fairness expected by the international community in the course of these investigations.
According to public and official statements, the OTP has made public that it is currently examining at least seven situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq, Nigeria, and Ukraine and Palestine.

To date the OTP has published the conclusions of its preliminary examination into alleged crimes committed in Palestine, Iraq,Venezuela, South Korea and Honduras .Following its conclusion in 2006, the preliminary examination in Iraq was re-opened in May 2014 after the OTP received new evidence.

After concluding in a first preliminary examination that it was not clear if Palestine was to be considered a state for the purposes of the Rome Statute, the OTP launched another preliminary examination on 16 January citing United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 67/19, which conferred “non-member observer state” status to Palestine.

Following her preliminary examination in Georgia, on 13 October 2015 the prosecutor requested authorization from the Pre-Trial Chamber to proceed with an investigation into the situation. A decision is pending on that matter.

On 6 November 2014, the OTP concluded its preliminary examination of the the Comoros Referral. On 16 July 2015, ICC judges requested the prosecutor to reconsider decision not to open an investigation. The OTP appealed the decision.

Please Note: The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the Court. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC’s trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. Individual CICC members, however, may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.
The Coalition will post information on an individual case or situation once the ICC has officially received a referral, assigned the situation to a Pre-Trial Chamber, and/or posted information on that situation on its own website.