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The International Criminal Court and Africa$
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Charles Chernor Jalloh and Ilias Bantekas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810568.001.0001

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The Implementation of the Proprio Motu Authority of the Prosecutor in Africa

The Implementation of the Proprio Motu Authority of the Prosecutor in Africa

(p.38) 2 The Implementation of the Proprio Motu Authority of the Prosecutor in Africa
The International Criminal Court and Africa

Manisuli Ssenyonjo

Oxford University Press

The chapter argues that some of the criticism against the use of proprio motu powers is justified, particularly in respect of selectivity, given that other situations outside Africa were not investigated in equal manner. Equally, the evidence by which the Prosecutor initiated proprio motu prosecutions was generally weak and, despite some dissenting voices, it was never turned down by the ICC’s pre-trial chambers. This is particularly interesting if one considers that the situation in Kenya, at least, was politically charged. Although the chapter largely discusses the legal contours of the Prosecutor’s proprio motu powers and their application in the two African situations, it also assesses the impact of these prosecutions on local proceedings and the potential for suffocating the investigated nations’ relations with the ICC. To avoid similar conflicts in the future, the author argues that the politicization of prosecutorial discretion could be assessed by considering comparable situations in which the Prosecutor is not attempting to proceed.

Keywords:   proprio motu, International Criminal Court (ICC), Kenya, Ivory Coast, Prosecutor of the ICC

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