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Auto-Referrals And The Complementary Nature Of The ICC

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Chapter Summary

One of the striking features of the early operationalisation of the Statute is that State Parties refer situations, which occur on their own territory to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Complementarity and its regulation in the Statute appears to presuppose that its primary objective is to regulate competing claims for the exercise of jurisdiction over ICC crimes, with both claimants one or more States on the one hand, and the Prosecutor on the other hand being eager to exercise jurisdiction. The most fundamental question is whether complementarity applies at all in the context of auto-referrals or whether cases of auto-referral would render cases admissible without the need to establish that the referring State is either wholly inactive, or unwilling and unable within the meaning of Article 17 (2) or (3). The Prosecutors role to consider whether the case is or would be admissible is mandatory rather than discretionary.

Keywords: auto-referrals; International Criminal Court (ICC); jurisdiction; State Parties



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