ICC State Referral From Central African Republic
International Criminal Court Announces State Referral from the Central African Republic
WHAT: On Friday, January 7, 2005, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced receipt of a referral regarding the situation of reported crimes within the Central African Republic (CAR). The referral was transmitted in a letter sent on behalf of the CAR government to the office of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and refers to crimes committed anywhere in the territory of the CAR since July 1, 2002, the date of entry into force of the ICC’s Treaty, the Rome Statute.
This is the third announcement of a referral by an ICC State Party, following ICC public statements in January 2004 regarding the situation in Uganda and in April 2004 regarding the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ICC announced the launch of formal investigations in the DRC and Uganda in June and July 2004 respectively.
HOW: In accordance with the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor will now analyze whether to initiate formal investigations in the CAR situation. This analysis will include the gravity of alleged crimes, any relevant national proceedings and the interests of justice. The letter of referral commits the CAR to cooperating with the ICC in this regard.
A referral by an ICC State Party is one of the three ways through which a case can be brought to the ICC, in addition to a referral by the UN Security Council under its Chapter VII authority, or the prioprio motu initiation of an investigation by the Prosecutor “on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court”.
WHEN: The CAR became a State Party to the ICC treaty on October 3, 2001 when it ratified the Rome Statute. Since February 2000 the United Nations has had a peace-building office in the Central African Republic to assist in light of on-going instability and violence there.
WHO: Civil society organizations in the CAR and international groups were instrumental in facilitating the ICC’s involvement.
The NGO Coalition for the ICC (CICC) is dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The CICC will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC, and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The CICC as a whole, and its secretariat, will not, however, be directly involved in the promotion or development of cases before the ICC.
The ICC comprises 97 States Parties and is currently investigating situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, following referrals from both countries to the ICC Prosecutor.