The Concept and Functions of “Situation” at “The International Criminal Court”

Document Type : Original Article

Author

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

One of the Statute of International Criminal Court’s construction is the concept of situation. This notion performs various jurisdictional function, including delimiting the scope within which the Court has an authority to exercise its jurisdiction. States Parties to the Rome Statute have a right to refer a situation to the Office of the Prosecutor to warrant further investigation. Moreover, the United Nations Security Council and non-member States have a right to extend the Court’s jurisdiction over a situation related to non-member States. But what a situation means? This piece by reviewing the jurisprudence of the Court in addition to human rights law as an applicable law to the Court shows that a case has a territorial aspect but it does not mean a territory. This piece conceptualizes the notion of situation as a concrete crisis that corresponds with the contextual element of international crimes, i.e. armed conflict of international or non-international character and a widespread or systematic attack against civilian population. Consequently, states and Security Council by determining a situation can limit the Court’s jurisdictional authorities to such a situation.

Keywords


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