The International Criminal Court: Prosecutor Seeks To Open Investigation of Ivory Coast

On May 19, 2011, the ICC Prosecutor advised the President of the Court of a forthcoming application to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization of an investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor into the situation in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) since November 28, 2010.[1]

After a preliminary examination, the ICC Prosecutor concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed in Côte d’Ivoire since that date.[2]

Ivory Coast once was one of Africa’s richest, but has been devastated by years of unrest, political division and civil war. The country is still reeling from a four-month armed standoff that killed as many as 3,000 people and that sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence into neighboring lands.[3]

On May 21, Alassane Ouattara was formally inaugurated as the country’s president nearly six weeks after his predecessor was forcibly removed from office with the help of French and United Nations military strikes when he refused to leave office after losing the presidential election.[4]

Also last week Grenada became the 115th state to join the ICC.[5]

[1] ICC, Press Release: Situation in [Ivory Cost] assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber (May 20, 2011).

[2]  Id.

[3]  E.g., Nossiter, In Belated Inauguration, Ivory Coast’s President Urges Unity (May 21, 2011); Times Topic, Ivory Coast,

[4]  Id.

[5] ICC, Press Release: Grenada becomes the 115th State to join the Rome Statute (May 20, 2011).

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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