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A Samson at the International Criminal Court: The Powers of the Prosecutor at the Pre-Trial Phase

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image of The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is a central figure of current international justice. Given his fundamental role in the choice of situations to investigate and cases to prosecute, he will certainly shape the way the work of the Court will be perceived. In exercising his discretion, the Prosecutor will need to balance the interests of victims and the defence, accommodate the will of States and the pressure from NGOs. This balancing act first takes place at the preliminary phase where the genuineness of the information provided will need to be evaluated. During the formal investigative phase, the OTP needs to carry out its duties independently from a financial and political perspective, while trying to obtain the cooperation of States without which no investigations will be possible, respecting the rights of the defence and the views of the victims, all this under the supervision of the Pre-Trial Chamber. If this Samson at the International Criminal Court pulls on his binds too much, he risks bringing down the temple of international justice.

Affiliations: 1: European University Institute, Florence


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