Rethinking the Prosecutor’s Discretion at the International Criminal Court

Substantive Limitations and Judicial Control

2023. 451 S.
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ISBN 978-3-428-18818-5
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The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is the first prosecutor of a permanent international criminal court and is responsible for investigating situations where international crimes appear having been committed and for prosecuting perpetrators of these crimes before the Court. The traditional contrast between those systems applying the principle of mandatory prosecution and those applying the discretionary principle, raised the question on the applicable model in the international criminal justice system. The traditional selectivity characterizing International Criminal Law, the limited resources, and the tendential use of procedural mechanisms familiar to common law systems before international criminal tribunals are some of the reasons leading scholars to attribute discretion to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as well. The purpose of this book is to determine whether the Prosecutor effectively enjoys discretion and possibly to what extent. The statutory framework does not necessarily point towards a strong discretionary power of the Prosecutor, and practice reveals that the discretion granted to the Prosecutor in recent years seems sometimes to have jeopardized the effectiveness of his activities.


1. Prosecutorial Discretion in National and International Criminal Law

The Concept of Discretion – The Prosecutor in National Legal Systems – The Prosecutor in International Criminal Law – Introduction to the Activity of the ICC Prosecutor
2. The Object of the ICC Prosecutor’s Assessment
The Reasonable Basis for the Initiation of an Investigation – The Jurisdiction – The Admissibility – The Interests of Justice
3. The Control over the Activity of the ICC Prosecutor
The Control from External Entities – Judicial Control under Article 53 of the Statute – Judicial Control under Article 58 of the Statute – Judicial Control under Article 61 of the Statute – Judicial Control throughout the Trial: The No Case to Answer Procedure
Abstracts in English, Italian, German
Bibliography, Subject Index


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