Length of the Proceedings at the International Criminal Court

Length of the Proceedings at the International Criminal Court


The International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) and the International Criminal Law Research Unit of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (ICLU) conducted a research project intending to undertake an analysis of the length of the proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC). The partners developed a clear analytical framework and assessment process since September 2019; this process will finish with the submission of a report to the Federal Government of Germany with recommendations for the acceleration of the proceedings at the ICC.

On 26 June 2018, the German Parliament adopted a resolution entitled “Strengthening the International Criminal Court”. The objective of the document is to support the work of the Court and to analyze the current situation of the Court through a comprehensive study of the amount of time invested in the cases under its jurisdiction. The resolution requested the Federal Government of Germany “to ascertain, with the help of a study of proceedings conducted by the ICC to date, which factors lead to the disproportionate length of proceedings and to formulate proposals on accelerating proceedings”.

Based on the objectives of the resolution, the Nuremberg Academy and the ICLU analyzed the public records and related documents of the cases before the ICC with the aim to identify the influence of the complex legal framework and the practical issues arising in the proceedings. In addition, and to complement the data from the records with a reliable empirical basis, semi-structured expert conversations were held with practitioners. officials, and key personnel from all organs of the ICC.

In the course of the project, the partners hosted two expert meetings in The Hague on 17 February 2020 and, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an online workshop to present tentative recommendations to a group of experts on 26 November 2021. On both occasions, the experts had fruitful discussions and contributed new ideas based on their practical experience and previous scientific studies of the topic.

The project is in the final stage, the partners are revising the report and plan to submit it to the Federal Government of Germany in the first quarter of 2022.