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International Criminal Court, Pre-Trial Proceedings, Pre-Trial Functions and Powers of the ICC Prosecutor

NCJ Number
Virgil Constantin Ivan
Date Published
47 pages
This report provides an overview of the overall role of the newly created International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ICC prosecutor presented at the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, 17th International Conference held in the Hague, August 24-28, 2003.
In response to the international civil society reaching a point where it no longer accepts the border limitations and the sovereignty of the national jurisdiction, which are no longer obstacles for committing a crime but rather for its prosecution, the 1998 creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) statute was agreed upon by 120 nations. The creation of the ICC marks the permanent elevation of international criminal law to a statute that was first contemplated in the 15th century of the Holy Roman Empire. This report attempts to answer the questions of what is the relevance of the prosecution at the international level for transnational crimes and why is transnational prosecution necessary, and describes the differences between international and national prosecution for international crime discussed during the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, 17th International Conference held at the Hague in 2003. In attempting to answer these questions, the report looks at the international criminalization process which includes direct enforcement by international tribunals and national prosecutions for international crimes, political independence and accountability of the prosecutor, the ICC prosecutor’s duties and powers, the rights of persons during an ICC investigation, and the differences between inquisitorial and adversarial systems of criminal law. The preliminary research of the role of the ICC prosecutor during the pre-trial proceedings cannot do justice to the numerous and complex questions which are raised and which will be made subject of considerable discussion and careful analysis over the coming years. It is too early to draw conclusions on the pre-trial regime of the ICC, as the ICC prosecutor starts his/her activity in 2003. Annexes 1-3