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ICC: Pre-trial Palestine Probe Pleads Plus Pages
By: ICC-CPI-20200121-PR1508
21 January 2020
 

Situation in Palestine: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber rules on Prosecutor’s request for an extension of the page limit

Today, 21 January 2020, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC or Court) rendered a decision on the Prosecutor`s `Application for extension of pages for request under article 19(3) of the Rome Statute` in the Situation in the State of Palestine.

The Chamber found that exceptional circumstances existed justifying an extension of the page limit, and therefore granted the Request for an extension of the page limit. However, Pre-Trial Chamber I found that it was inappropriate for the Prosecutor to submit her Request for an extension of the page limit alongside her Request pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute, the very document for which she was seeking an extension of the page limit. In order to ensure the integrity of the proceedings, the Chamber rejected in limine the Request pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute and further invited the Prosecutor to file a new request. The Chamber noted that its decision was purely procedural, and that if the Prosecutor was to renew her request pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute, the Chamber would then deal with its merits.

The Prosecutor filed the Request for an extension of the page limit on 20 December 2019, arguing that 110 pages were necessary for the request she intended to file pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute. On the same day, the Prosecutor also filed her `Prosecution request pursuant to article 19(3) for a ruling on the Court`s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine`, of a length of the requested 110 pages. Later, on 23 December 2019, the Prosecutor filed another document entitled `Supplementary information to the Prosecution request pursuant to article 19(3) for a ruling on the Court`s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine`, with two annexes containing two legal memoranda issued by the State of Israel on `the question of the Court`s jurisdiction with respect to the situation in Palestine`, requesting that those documents be `placed on the record of the situation for completeness`.

In its decision, today the Chamber recalled that a party or participant is formally authorised to file a document exceeding the specific page limit set out in the Regulations of the Court only once a chamber has granted a request to vary the page limit. Having found that the Prosecutor erred in the way she filed her Request pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute, the Chamber rejected in limine the Request pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute and all related documents, including the `Supplementary information`, and instructed the Registrar to strike from the record of the situation all those documents and to withdraw them from the Court`s website. The Chamber further invited the Prosecutor to file a new request, made of one single document of no more than the requested 110 pages.

The Chamber added that if the Prosecutor still wished to refer to the public legal memoranda issued by the State of Israel she had first annexed to her Supplementary information, she could still do so by referring to them in her new request, but without exceeding the set limit of 110 pages.

Decision on the Prosecutor`s Application for an extension of the page limit

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int

Original article

Photo: ICC building, The Hague, Netherlands. Source: ICC.

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