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Quest for “metro” within the international criminal justice project

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Abstract

The “interests of justice” reference in article 53 of the Rome Statute is considered to be a unique tool which allows the prosecutor to forego an investigation or prosecution in “the interests of justice.” The epitome of the challenges raised by this provision is depicted in the following paragraph of the policy paper issued by the Office of the Prosecutor: “The issue of the interests of the justice, as it appears in article 53 of the Rome Statue, represents one of the most contentious and complex aspects of the Treaty. It is the point where many of the philosophical and operational challenges in the pursuit of international criminal justice coincide (albeit implicitly) but there is no clear guidance on what the content of the idea is.” The policy paper emphasizes that the exercise of the Prosecutor’s discretion under article 53(1)(c) and 53 (2)(c) is exceptional in its nature and that there is a presumption in favor of investigation or prosecution. Yet, despite this rigid approach adopted by the OTP and the leading NGOs, the debates on Northern Uganda, Darfur and Kenya revealed an interesting counter-argumentation on the perceived universality of the concept of justice. The current proposal aims to address the doctrinal limits of international justice via the application of metro, fine balance, elaborating on the concept of fairness