Justice Update – Communications at the ICC

Why is there a picture of a cat on top of the International Criminal Court building in The Hague? Well…Stephanie sometimes chastens her colleagues by suggesting her cat could feature in a case at the ICC, to show that journalistic enthusiasm for potential ICC investigations is sometimes lacking a bit of knowledge, let alone perspective.

We often hear of NGOs sending communications to the ICC – and sometimes we discuss them. The one on crimes against Uighurs committed in Tajikistan (we discussed it here), the evidence of crimes against migrants in Libya (listen back here). More recently, Al Jazeera submitted evidence on the killing of their Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the communications on torture sent by the Turkey Tribunal. Just to name a few.

What is their actual impact on the work of the ICC? What do the figures have to say in terms of their success? Janet did some digging and found that while the Office of the Prosecutor receives thousands of communications, only a handful have turned into concrete cases so far. 

Stephanie and Janet discuss why NGOs make these communications, when are they worth covering as journalists, and how the ICC deals with the material. They do so with the help of Andreas Schüller, director of the International Crimes and Accountability program at ECCHR (on their work you can listen back to the episode on Yemen).


This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.