Coalition for the International Criminal Court
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The situation in Libya is the International Criminal Court's (ICC) sixth investigation. To date, three arrests warrants have been issued in this investigation: against Muammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi.

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Arrest warrants
On 27 June 2011, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I) issued warrants of arrest for Libyan leader Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Libyan government spokesman, and Abdullah Al-Senussi, Director of Military Intelligence, for alleged crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) committed in Libya from 15 February until at least 28 February 2011.

The ICC Prosecutor applied for arrest warrants against Muammar Al-Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi on 16 May 2011. PTC I judges decided that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the three suspects committed crimes against humanity and that the warrants of arrest were necessary to ensure their appearance before the ICC, to prevent interference in the ongoing investigation and to prevent the commission of further crimes.

Responsibility for the implementation of arrest warrants lies with the Libyan national authorities. Libya is obliged to cooperate fully with the ICC and the prosecutor, under the terms of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1970 (2011). However, cooperation from the Libyan Transitional National Council and other states may be needed to ensure the arrest of the three suspects.

On 19 November 2011, Al-Islam Gaddafi was arrested by Libyan authorities, and on 23 January 2012, they submitted confidential observations on the arrest and detention following a request from PTC I on 6 December 2011. On 4 April 2012, PTC I reiterated its order that Libya must immediately surrender Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to the Court. An appeal by Libya against this order was dismissed by the Appeals Chamber on 25 April.

On 2 February 2012, PTC I rejected applications for leave to submit amicus curiae observations by Mishana Hosseinioun and Aisha Gaddafi, as well as their subsequent requests for leave to appeal. The applicants also appealed directly to the Appeals Chamber on issues of jurisdiction and admissibility.

On 17 March 2012, Al-Senussi was arrested in Mauritania. France and Libya are also reported to be seeking his extradition to their custody. On 22 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided to terminate the case against Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi following his death.

On 1 May 2012, Libya challenged the admissibility of the cases before the Court and on 1 June 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber I postponed the obligation to arrest Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi pending the outcome of the admissibility challenge.

On 7 June 2012 four ICC staff members were detained in Zintan, Libya, while undertaking a mission authorized by ICC judges and approved by the interim Libyan government to visit with Saif al-Islam Qaddafi. The four were released on 2 July 2012.

On 5 September 2012, former Libyan intelligence chief and ICC suspect, Abdullah Al-Senussi, was extradited from Mauritania to Libya. Al-Senussi, had been arrested in Nouakchott, Mauritania in March 2012.

On 8-9 October 2012, PTC I held a public hearing to discuss Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the cases against Saif Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi, presented by the Libyan government on 1 May 2012.

On 6 February 2013, PTC I decided that Libya was still under an obligation to surrender Abdullah Al-Senussi to the Court. However, the Chamber postponed the obligation to surrender Saif Gaddafi until it decides on Libya’s May 2012 challenge to ICC jurisdiction in the case.

The formal investigation into the situation in Libya was opened by the ICC Prosecutor on 3 March 2011, following a preliminary examination of available information. The prosecutor's announcement came after the UNSC adopted Resolution 1970 (2011) on 26 February 2011, which referred the situation in Libya, a state not party to the Rome Statute, to the ICC. It was the second time that a situation was referred to the Court by the UNSC under its Chapter VII authority and the first time such a resolution was passed unanimously.

On 4 May 2011, the ICC Prosecutor addressed the UNSC on progress made in his investigation into violence in Libya. He announced that his office would soon submit its first application to judges for arrest warrants and indicated that further cases may be opened in relation to other crimes committed as part of the ongoing hostilities in Libya.
The prosecutor will address the UNSC every six months on the progress made in his investigation.

Pre-trial chamber
On 4 March 2011, the ICC Presidency assigned the situation in Libya to Pre-Trial Chamber I. The Chamber is currently composed of Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert (Belgium), Judge Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany), and Judge Silvia Fernandez Gurmendi (Argentina).

For additional information and to view the Court's latest decisions, visit the ICC website

On 6 February 2013, PTC I decided that Libya was still under an obligation to surrender Al-Senussi to the Court. However, the Chamber postponed the obligation to surrender Saif Gaddafi until it decides on Libya’s May 2012 challenge to ICC jurisdiction in the case.

On 17 April 2013, PTC I granted a request by the Office of the Public Counsel for Defence (OPCD), that it be relinquished from its court-appointed representation of Saif Gaddafi citing “an imminent depletion in staffing.” John Jones QC has been appointed in place of the OPCD.

On 2 April 2013, Libya filed an admissibility challenge to the ICC case against Al-Senussi, citing ongoing domestic investigations into alleged crimes by him in Libya.

On 31 May 2013, PTC I rejected Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Gaddafi before the ICC and ordered his surrender. PTC I concluded that Libya’s domestic investigation did not sufficiently cover the alleged crimes included in the ICC case. Judges recognized Libya’s efforts to restore the rule of law, but stressed that it continues to face difficulties in exercising its judicial powers, including the ability to secure Gaddafi into state custody. Libya has since appealed the decision; however the obligation to surrender Gaddafi remains in place during the appeal of the admissibility decision.

On 18 July 2013, the Appeals Chamber rejected Libya’s request to suspend the surrender of Saif Gaddafi to the Court while a final decision is pending on its challenge to the admissibility of case. In May, PTC I had decided Gaddafi must be transferred and tried at the ICC. On 23 July 2013, Gaddafi’s defense requested PTC I to find that Libya has failed to cooperate by deliberately refusing to surrender him to the Court and to refer the matter to the UN Security Council.

On 11 October 2013, PTC I ruled that the case against Al-Senussi was inadmissible before the ICC on the basis that Libyan authorities are both willing and able to effectively prosecute him. This was the first time that judges have found in favor of a government challenge to ICC jurisdiction over a case. Al-Senussi has appealed and requested that the decision be suspended pending a final outcome.

Prosecutor calls on Libya to give Al-Senussi a fair trial
On 14 November, the ICC prosecutor delivered the OTP’s sixth report on the situation in Libya to the UN Security Council. In her statement, Bensouda said that her office found no legal basis to appeal the decision finding the ICC case against Al-Senussi inadmissible, and called upon Libya to demonstrate that he would receive a fair trial. The prosecutor also informed the Council that the OTP and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate collaborate efforts to investigate grave crimes allegedly committed in Libya.

Appeals Chamber rejects request to suspend domestic proceedings against Al-Senussi
On 22 November, judges of the Appeals Chamber rejected a request made by Al-Senussi's defense to suspend Libya's domestic proceedings against Al-Senussi pending the resolution of an appeal against the 11 October decision finding the ICC's case against Al-Senussi inadmissible.

Gaddafi defense counsel asked for finding of Libyan non-compliance with Saif transfer order
On 25 November 2013, defense counsel representing Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi before the ICC issued a press release which condemned the Libyan government for failing to comply with its obligation to transfer Gaddafi to the ICC and asked the ASP to "affirm their commitment to the founding principles of the Rome Statute, and to deprecate any attempt to subvert the ability of the ICC to make a lasting contribution to peace and justice through the promulgation of independent and impartial decisions."Defense counsel also requested that the president of the ASP put Libyan non-compliance with the Court on the agenda for its 12th session.

On 9 December, Gaddafi's defense counsel asked the judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue a finding of non-compliance regarding Libya's failure to transfer Gaddafi to the Court.
Audio Visual Resources
Author Title Dateascending
International Crisis Group
18638|18639 26 July 2012
Author Date and Title
Human Rights Watch
23 Jan 2012
Libya: Q&A on the ICC and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
22 Aug 2011
ICC Prosecutor talks to Transitional National Council in Libya
Government and Inter-governmental Documents
Author Date and Title
EU Council
23 July 2012
Council conclusions on Libya, 3183rd FOREIG AFFAIRS Council meeting
European Union
19 June 2012
Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the arrest and detention of four staff members of the ICC in Libya
UN Security Council
15 June 2012
Security Council Press Statement on International Criminal Court Staff Detained in Libya
Barbara Lochbihler, Committee on Human Rights, European Parliament
11 June 2012
Lochbihler - The arrest of the ICC staff members shows Libya's problems
16 May 2012
Security Council - Libya/ICC report - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent representative of France to the United Nations
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
19 Nov 2011
Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the capture of Saif al-Islam
02 Nov 2011
Rapport du Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale - Intervention de M. Martin Briens, représentant permanent adjoint de la France auprès des Nations unies
NGO Letters, Papers, Reports, and Statements
Author Date and Title
Amnesty International
24 July 2014
ICC decision to allow Abdallah al-Senussi to stand trial in Libya ‘deeply alarming’ amidst overwhelming security vacuum
26 June 2014
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: LFJL, REDRESS, and DIGNITY call on Libya to ensure the prevention of torture
Hanan Salah, Human Rights Watch
06 June 2014
Counting the Dead in Benghazi
Hanan Salah
14 Apr 2014
Libya's Justice Pandemonium
19 Feb 2014
French Parliament Supports Libyan Bill on Sexual Crimes
Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch
10 Feb 2014
Libya Teetering on the Brink of Failure
Fred Abrahams, Human Rights Watch
20 Oct 2013
Dispatches: Two Years after Gaddafi, Lawless in Libya
NGO Media Statements
Author Date and Title
Human Rights Watch
24 July 2014
Libya: ICC Judges Reject Sanussi Appeal
24 July 2014
Libya: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome ICC ruling on the Al-Senussi case, which heralds new potential for justice and strengthening human rights protection
27 June 2014
LIBYA: Outrage following the assassination of prominent lawyer and women activist Salwa Bouguiguis
27 June 2014
LFJL pays its respect to women’s rights activist Salwa Bugaighis following her tragic murder
27 June 2014
NPWJ and the NRPTT mourn the killing of Salwa Bugaighis, Libyan human rights lawyer and defender, and note with sadness the passing of Florence Ali, women’s rights activist from Ghana
Amnesty International
26 June 2014
Libya must ensure proper investigation after prominent lawyer shot dead
26 June 2014
Libya: Tribute to Salwa Bughaighis
Quotes and Statements
Author Date and Title
Defence for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi
25 Nov 2013
Press Statement of the Defence for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi
31 May 2013
John R.W.D Jones Q.C welcomes Gaddafi admissibility decision before the ICC
SCSL President Justice Shirleen Avis Fisher
15 June 2012
Statement by Special Court President Justice Shirleen Avis Fisher on the detention of ICC staff in Libya
13 June 2012
ICTY President expresses concern over the detention of ICC staff in Libya and urges release
UN Reports, Resolutions, and Statements
Author Title Date
International Commission of Inquiry on Libya - UN Human Rights Council
17211|17212 02 Mar 2012