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Prosecutorial Discretion And Gravity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the role that gravity has played in prosecutorial policy over the first five years of activity of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In February 2004, the Prosecutor addressed the diplomatic corps in The Hague. He spoke about Article 53 of the Statute, specifically mentioning the interests of victims and the interests of justice, but altogether omitting to mention gravity. By mid-2005, when the Prosecutor applied to the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) for the first arrest warrants in the Situation in Uganda, the issue of gravity had become more prominent. A comprehensive statement on prosecutorial strategy was issued by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in September 2006, after more than three years of activity. The fundamentally quantitative approach to gravity suggested by the Prosecutor in the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) arrest warrants and the Iraq situation also seems to neglect an important dimension of the crimes.

Keywords: International Criminal Court (ICC); Lords Resistance Army (LRA); Office of the Prosecutor (OTP); Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC); prosecutorial policy



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