NPWJ submission on the ICC Office of the Prosecutor draft Policy on Case Selection and Prioritisation

1 Apr, 2016 | Press Releases

The Hague, 1 April 2016

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) welcomes the consultations undertaken by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Crimimal Court (ICC) on the draft Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation and the opportunity to provide written comments. We have participated in consultations on other draft OTP policies and continue to believe such consultations are important not just in terms of the content of submissions the OTP may receive, but also in terms of a concrete expression of the OTP’s commitment to transparency and cooperation, including with civil society.

NPWJ Submission on the Draft OTP Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation is divided into three parts. The first part concerns elements of the draft that NPWJ particularly welcomes and supports (“Positive elements”). This part highlights those elements and concepts that NPWJ believes should be retained and for which reasons. The second part concerns elements of the draft that NPWJ believes could usefully be clarified, amended or expanded (“Suggestions on specific elements”). This part focuses both on language and concepts, including some aspects that may seem less significant, but which could cause confusion. The third part concerns elements that NPWJ believes should be included in the draft policy that are currently absent (“Suggestions for additions”). This part contains specific recommendations and the reasoning behind the suggestions.

The submission covers the following main areas:
– the Policy’s statement on prosecution policies – namely that the Office will focus on those who bear the greatest responsibility and in so doing it will not consider the group to which defendants belong, since impartiality does not mean equidistance – are welcomed and should be retained
– the Policy needs to be clear on accountability for implementation of the Policy, particularly when elements are considered confidential (such as the case selection plan)
– the prioritisation of cases needs to consider policy elements like deterrence and the impact on a country’s political and social life, not just operational or resource issues. All else being equal, policy considerations should be given higher weight in determining which cases to prioritise.
– there needs to be a clear communications strategy concerning both the policy and its implementation
– charges should be representative of the experience of victims and affected communities

These points reflect NPWJ’s policies on these issues, including our policy paper on prosecutorial policy and on outreach as well as the intervention made during the First Public Hearing of the OTP in 2003.

  • Download the NPWJ Submission on the Draft OTP Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation (pdf format)

For further information, please contact Alison Smith, NPWJ Director for International Criminal Justice, on