The Role of UN Documentation in Shaping Narratives at the International Criminal Court and the Implications for the Rights of the Accused


The International Criminal Court (icc) is an independent treaty-based international organisation acting in close cooperation with the United Nations (UN). To that end, organs of the Court have extensively relied on UN documentation in proceedings. These materials have been used to support grounds for the exercise of jurisdiction, demonstrate legal elements of crimes, and prove matters of fact. In recent practice, including in the situations of Palestine, Bangladesh/Myanmar, and Mali, UN materials have been used to establish legal and factual matters on the primary basis that they represent the ‘views of the international community’. This paper examines the ways in which Court organs rely on UN documentation in icc proceedings. It assesses the interplay of such information with rights of the accused. The paper concludes that in order to safeguard its credibility and the fairness of the proceedings, the Court should adopt specific guidelines relating to the evaluation of and admissibility of UN materials.

About the Author

Anne Herzberg

Anne Herzberg

Anne Herzberg is the Legal Advisor of NGO Monitor. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University Law School. Prior to joining NGO Monitor, she worked as an attorney in New York. Her areas of research include business and human rights, international human rights law, the laws of armed conflict, universal jurisdiction, international fact finding, NGOs, and the UN.