The ICC—Two Courts in One?

Document Type


Publication Date



International Criminal Court, ICC, Rome Statute, ICC Prosecutor


Criminal Law | International Law


The authors consider the recent operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), its system of funding and the jurisdictional challenges facing the Court's Prosecutor. These challenges require an in-depth analysis of the Rome Statute's funding scheme and its provisions on complementarity. A close reading of the Statute indicates that both of these areas operate in an entirely different manner when a case is referred to the Court by the Security Council, and even suggests the startling possibility that these referrals relieve the Court of the usual constraints of complementary jurisdiction. The authors therefore conclude that the ICC is best viewed as two separate courts: an independent criminal court enacted by the parties of the Rome Statute but, in the case of referrals by the Security Council under Article 13(b) of the Statute, an organ for restoring collective peace and security that transcends the classic goals of criminal law to adjudicate individual guilt.

Publication Citation

Published in: Journal of International Criminal Justice, vol. 4, no. 3 (July 2006).

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