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Case Admissibility at the International Criminal Court

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image of The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals

The existing jurisprudence of the icc establishes a two-step test for determining challenges to the admissibility of a case under Article 17 of the Rome Statute, now further solidified by an Appeals Chamber judgment in Simone Gbagbo. Notably, this is an area of the jurisprudence that does not suffer from excessive fragmentation. The Court has consistently required “substantially the same conduct” for a finding of parity between its own case and the case under investigation or prosecution by domestic authorities. Different outcomes in Al-Senussi and Gaddafi are attributable to factual differences, leaving intact the fundamental approach of the Court to the “inability” and “unwillingness” aspects of complementarity. Although novel fact patterns may pose future challenges to the coherence of this approach, the core principles of case admissibility are now well established, increasing legal certainty for States and individuals who seek to challenge the admissibility of cases before the Court.

Affiliations: 1: King’s College


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