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Situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
American Journal of International Law  (IF3.091),  Pub Date : 2021-10-15, DOI: 10.1017/ajil.2021.48
Yurika Ishii

On March 5, 2020, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to authorize the prosecutor to commence a proprio motu investigation into the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Afghanistan War since 2003. This decision is the first case where the requirements for the authorization of an investigation under Article 15(4) of the ICC Rome Statute (Statute) were tested on appeal. The case lays down a marker as to how the ICC sees the division of roles between the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Office of the Prosecutor. The Appeals Chamber proved willing to give the prosecutor broad discretion at the investigation stage. Without limiting principles, this approach may eventually expand the role of the Court beyond what the Statute permits.