ICC 2023 Office of the Prosecutor Annual Report

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has published the 2023 edition of the Office of the Prosecutor Annual Report: “Delivering Better Together (“the Report”). The Report aims to enhance the transparency of the ICC’s activities and to explain how staff members work to discharge the mandate assigned to the Office of the Prosecutor effectively and impactfully. The Report explores the ICC’s efforts to amplify its work, implement technological solutions, and to become a hub for a range of stakeholders.


Amplifying the work of the ICC

The core responsibility of the ICC is to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and the crime of aggression. Success in this mission depends on continuous development of tools and policies, both inside and outside the courtroom. The ICC is committed to addressing gender-based crimes and crimes against and affecting children, actively engaging with global experts in the process.

Key highlights of this work include:

  • Increased cases in the courtroom: Throughout 2023, the number of cases has continued to rise in response to new or ongoing alleged crimes falling within the Court’s jurisdiction and which national authorities with jurisdiction have been unable or unwilling to genuinely investigate or prosecute.
  • Adapting operational practices: The ICC aims to adapt its operational practices to incorporate new insights and developments, enhancing its ability to fulfill its mandate effectively.
  • Increased field presence: Bringing justice closer to communities, allowing those affected by atrocities to engage directly in accountability processes.


Implementing technological solutions

The ICC emphasises the crucial role of technology in enhancing its operations both within and beyond the courtroom. The ICC is actively undergoing a significant digital transformation to integrate cutting-edge technologies, demonstrating its commitment to staying current and effective. This embrace of technology is aimed at ensuring the ICC’s work remains relevant, timely, and impactful in the pursuit of justice.

Key highlights of this work include:

  • Project Harmony: A notable initiative through which the ICC is strengthening its capability to efficiently process large volumes of evidence at a faster pace, thereby increasing the impact of its work. This approach allows the ICC to collect and analyse evidence in a manner that takes full advantage of both the physical and digital aspects of alleged crimes, especially in modern conflict zones.
  • Virtual Reality: The ICC has explored various technological solutions to challenges inherent in the international justice process. It has launched projects aimed at using augmented and virtual reality for the benefit of survivors of international crimes, such as by allowing them to follow judicial proceedings remotely.


Becoming a hub

The courtroom activities of the ICC are the most visible aspects of its work, but they are complemented by various other efforts aimed at fulfilling its mandate. The ICC’s overarching goal is to combat impunity and contribute to the prevention of future crimes. Adhering to the principle of complementarity, the ICC identifies the roles that different stakeholders can play in achieving these objectives. As a global driver of justice, the ICC actively supports domestic, regional, and, when appropriate, international initiatives by sharing information, evidence, and best practices.

Key highlights of this work include:

  • Strengthened cooperation: The ICC operates in a complex and diverse environment, comprising States Parties, non-States Parties, international and multilateral organisations, judicial entities, and civil society, as well as others. Throughout 2023, the ICC has continued to build on its ambition to reinvigorate cooperation with all parties in line with the principles of cooperation and complementarity.
  • Civil society initiatives: Including the creation of the Ukraine Accountability Dialogue Group to foster dialogue among the different national, international and civil society initiatives seeking accountability for international crimes occurring in Ukraine.


Key takeaways

In its 2023 Office of the Prosecutor Annual Report, the International Criminal Court emphasises transparency and effectiveness. The ICC’s work has been successfully amplified through bringing an increased number of cases to the courtroom, adapting operational practices, and increasing field presence. The ICC has implemented technological solutions such as Project Harmony and the leveraging of Virtual Reality, and it has acted as a hub through strengthened cooperation and civil society initiatives.

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