Part III Prosecutorial Policy and Practice, 16 Selecting Situations and Cases
William A. Schabas OC MRIA
Edited By: Carsten Stahn
- International humanitarian law — Gross violations — International crimes — Prosecutors — UN Charter
This chapter analyses selection and charging choices from an observer’s perspective. It re-visits the coherence and transparency of prosecutorial choices and charging practice, based on an analysis of ICC choices, criteria (e.g. ‘gravity’), and methods. It argues that existing practice has made the ICC vulnerable to criticisms of ‘selective justice’ and politicization, for example in the decisions reached with respect to Palestine and Iraq. It claims that further attention needs to be given to the inconsistency in the Prosecutor’s position, whereby selection of a situation is more or less mandatory once the objective criteria are met yet selection of cases is not. It notes that in reality, a great deal of discretion is involved in the selection both of situations and of cases.