American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court
The ICC > Investigations & Cases > Preliminary Examinations

According to the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), it "conducts a preliminary examination of all situations brought to its attention based on statutory criteria and the information available." A preliminary examination is an assessment undergone to determine whether proceed to a full and formal investigation is appropriate. This can only occur if a situation meets the requirements of jurisdiction and admissibility. For a situation to be admissible under the Court's jursisdiction, the alleged crimes must be of a certain gravity. It must also be true that there are no past or current domestic cases against the same persons for the same criminal acts.

According to the OTP, there are four successive assessment phases which are explained in its November 2012 report and included in the below summaries:

  • Phase 1: Initial assessment
  • Phase 2: Subject matter assessment
  • Phase 3: Admissibility assessment
  • Phase 4: Interests of justice assessment

The OTP issued its most recent report on preliminary examinations in November 2013.