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Preliminary examinations

The Office of the Prosecutor (“Office” or “OTP”) of the International Criminal Court
(“Court”) is responsible for determining whether a situation meets the legal criteria
established by the Rome Statute (“Statute”) to warrant investigation by the Office.

For this purpose, the OTP conducts a preliminary examination of all


communications and situations that come to its attention based on the statutory
criteria and the information available.

The preliminary examination of a situation by the Office may be initiated on the


basis of: a) information sent by individuals or groups, States, intergovernmental or
non-governmental organisations; b) a referral from a State Party or the United
Nations Security Council; or (c) a declaration lodged by a State accepting the exercise
of jurisdiction by the Court pursuant to article 12(3) of the Statute.

Once a situation is thus identified, the factors set out in article 53(1) (a)-(c) of the
Statute establish the legal framework for a preliminary examination. This article
provides that, in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed
with an investigation into the situation, the Prosecutor shall consider: jurisdiction
(temporal, either territorial or personal, and material); admissibility
(complementarity and gravity); and the interests of justice.