Rome Statute
Part 5: Investigation and Prosecution

Article Art. 56
Role of the Pre-Trial Chamber in relation to a unique investigative opporunity


(a) Where the Prosecutor considers an investigation to present a unique opportunity to take testimony or a statement from a witness or to examine, collect or test evidence, which may not be available subsequently for the purposes of a trial, the Prosecutor shall so inform the Pre-Trial Chamber.


In that case, the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor, take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the defence.


Unless the Pre-Trial Chamber orders otherwise, the Prosecutor shall provide the relevant information to the person who has been arrested or appeared in response to a summons in connection with the investigation referred to in subparagraph (a), in order that he or she may be heard on the matter.


The measures referred to in paragraph 1 (b) may include:


Making recommendations or orders regarding procedures to be followed;


Directing that a record be made of the proceedings;


Appointing an expert to assist;


Authorizing counsel for a person who has been arrested, or appeared before the Court in response to a summons, to participate, or where there has not yet been such an arrest or appearance or counsel has not been designated, appointing another counsel to attend and represent the interests of the defence;


Naming one of its members or, if necessary, another available judge of the Pre-Trial or Trial Division to observe and make recommendations or orders regarding the collection and preservation of evidence and the questioning of persons;


Taking such other action as may be necessary to collect or preserve evidence.


(a) Where the Prosecutor has not sought measures pursuant to this article but the Pre-Trial Chamber considers that such measures are required to preserve evidence that it deems would be essential for the defence at trial, it shall consult with the Prosecutor as to whether there is good reason for the Prosecutor’s failure to request the measures. If upon consultation, the Pre-Trial Chamber concludes that the Prosecutor’s failure to request such measures is unjustified, the Pre-Trial Chamber may take such measures on its own initiative.


A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber to act on its own initiative under this paragraph may be appealed by the Prosecutor. The appeal shall be heard on an expedited basis.


The admissibility of evidence preserved or collected for trial pursuant to this, or article the record thereof, shall be governed at trial by article 69, and given such weight as determined by the Trial Chamber.

Source: Article 56 — Role of the Pre-Trial Chamber in relation to a unique investigative opporunity, https://www.­icc-cpi.­int/Publications/Rome-Statute.­pdf.

Last Updated

Jun. 25, 2022

Art. 56’s source at icc-cpi​.int