An analysis of the ICC office of the prosecutor's policy paper on case selection and prioritization from the perspective of business and human rights

Bernaz, Nadia


In September 2016, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court issued a Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritization in which it indicated that the Office will now 'give particular consideration to prosecuting Rome Statute crimes that are committed by means of, or that result in ::: the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land'. Given that these criminal actions often involve corporate actors, the policy paper has raised expectations among those campaigning for increased scrutiny of the human rights impacts of business activity. The article evaluates the significance of the policy paper for the field of business and human rights. It does so by pointing to the current deficiencies of both international criminal law and international human rights law regarding business accountability, and by assessing whether, and if so how, the new policy paper can tackle those deficiencies. It also explores other areas of business activity the policy paper could have covered but did not. It concludes that, despite its limitations, the policy paper holds considerable potential from a business and human rights perspective.