Hassan Ahmad


This paper was also presented as part of the “New Voices” panel at the 2016 Annual Conference of the American Society of International Law.


In this article, I propose a contextual approach to ICC jurisdiction normatively to be adopted by the Court’s Office of the Prosecutor and Pre-Trial Chamber in investigating and eventually prosecuting crimes under the Rome Statute. Under this contextual approach, I contend that both the Prosecutor and Pre-Trial Chamber are able to consider evidence outside the traditional notions of territorial and temporal jurisdiction to conceptualize a conflict in its entirety. The totality of cross-border and inter-temporal evidence should be considered when deciding whether to investigate attacks that the Prosecutor has a reasonable basis to believe fall within the Court’s jurisdiction. Procedurally, the multi-step jurisdictional framework, the “Funnel Approach,”—beginning with the preliminary examination of a situation and proceeding to issuing an arrest warrant—provides flexibility to admit extra-jurisdictional evidence. Textually, the open-ended ‘gravity’ threshold does not limit the Prosecutor in considering evidence within the Rome Statute’s territorial or temporal limitations.