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International Criminal Court Act 2001

Section 54: Offences in relation to the ICC

95.This section extends existing offences against the administration of justice (e.g. contempt of court) to acts committed against the administration of justice of the ICC. The section is intended to implement Article 70.4 of the Statute, which requires a State Party to the ICC to

“extend its criminal laws penalising offences against the integrity of its own investigative or judicial process to offences against the administration of justice referred to in this Article committed on its territory, or by one of its nationals”.

The offences against the administration of justice of the ICC are set out in Article 70.1 (reproduced in Schedule 9). Upon request by the ICC, the State Party is obliged to submit a case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

96.Subsection (3) sets out the domestic offences corresponding to those in Article 70.1. These include false testimony (section 1 of the Perjury Act 1911), interference with witnesses or evidence (section 51 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 or at common law), and certain offences at common law including perverting the course of justice and contempt of court. For instance, it is a contempt under common law to bribe a court official, or to take or threaten revenge upon a court official for what he has done in the discharge of his duties.

97.Domestic courts have jurisdiction when such offences are committed in England and Wales or when committed overseas by UK nationals, UK residents or persons subject to UK Service jurisdiction (subsection (4)). The penalties available will be the same as are otherwise available for the relevant domestic offence.

98.Subsection (2) provides that, in trying these offences, the domestic court shall take into account relevant jurisprudence of the ICC and may also take into account any other relevant international jurisprudence (e.g. that of the International Criminal Tribunals).

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