Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Seeks Authorisation to Continue his Investigation in the Afghanistan Situation
On the 27th of September 2021, Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan requested the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to authorise his office’s further investigation into the Afghanistan situation. As explained in the Prosecutor’s statement, this decision was made because “there is no longer the prospect of genuine and effective investigations into Article 5 crimes within Afghanistan” in light of the recent takeover by the Taliban forces (ICC-CPI). The previous government had requested the ICC to relinquish its jurisdiction and to hold domestic trials. This is relevant as the ICC operates on the basis of ‘complementarity:’ only if a member state is unable or unwilling to genuinely investigate international crimes, will the ICC assume jurisdiction over the case (See Article 17 of the Rome Statute). As the International Court’s investigation focuses on international crimes committed by the Taliban, it seems unlikely that the current government – which is comprised by this group – will prosecute and hold themselves accountable. The Prosecutor notes that he remains open to future negotiations with the Afghanistan government. For more detailed information, please visit: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=2021-09-27-otp-statement-afghanistan
Figure 1) Source ‘Simms, M.L, ‘States of Justice Symposium: Interrogating States of Justice – The Politics of the International Criminal Court’ (Opinio Juris 17 August 2020) http://opiniojuris.org/2020/08/17/states-of-justice-symposium-interrogating-states-of-justice-the-politics-of-the-international-criminal-court/
Accessed 28 September 2021.