- Elements of crimes — International criminal law, conduct of proceedings — Evidence
This chapter comments on Article 56 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 56 provides an exceptional mechanism by which evidence may be collected under judicial oversight and then made available at trial. It authorizes the Pre-Trial Chamber to ‘take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the defence’. Thus, the focus is on ensuring that the interests of the defence are protected at a stage that may arise even before a defendant has been identified. However, the benefits of article 56 are not reserved to evidence helpful to the defence. The special function of article 56 can be invoked by the Prosecutor or by the Pre-Trial Chamber itself, acting on its own initiative.
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