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Part 5 Investigation and Prosecution: Enquête Et Poursuites, Art.56 Role of the Pre-Trial Chamber in relation to a unique investigative opportunity/Rôle de la chambre préliminaire dans le cas où l’occasion d’obtenir des renseignements ne se présentera plus

William A. Schabas

From: The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2nd Edition)

William A Schabas

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

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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