The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Releases Statement on the Authorisation to Investigate the Situation in the Philippines
Roos Willemijn Craanen
International Justice & Human Rights
Global Human Rights Defence
Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has received authorisation to investigate the situation in the Republic of the Philippines. The focus of the Prosecutor’s investigation is on the ‘War on Drugs’ and the alleged crimes between the 1st of November 2011 and 16th of March 2019. According to the Prosecutor’s Office investigation, there is reason to suggest that crimes against humanity such as murder, deprivation of liberty, sexual violence and enforced disappearance have occurred. Pre-Trial Chamber I affirmed that there is a reasonable basis to the claims presented by prosecutor Khan. The situation is contentious because the Philippines has officially withdrawn from the Rome Statute and the ICC on 17th of March 2019. This means that the Court loses its jurisdiction to examine any of the crimes mentioned under Article 5 from that date onwards. To that end, it is unsurprising that the Pre-Trial Chamber explicitly mentioned that the Court retains jurisdiction over any crimes committed in the timeframe specified by the Prosecutor.
For further reading and source:
Human Rights Watch (18 January 2018). Philippines: Duterte’s ‘Drug War’ Claims 12,000+ Lives. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/18/philippines-dutertes-drug-war-claims-12000-lives.