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Structure of the Court

The International Criminal Court is an independent institution and governed by an assembly of state parties.  The official seat of the court is in Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.  The Court is composed of four organs namely, the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry.

The Presidency is responsible for the overall administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor.  The Presidency is composed of three judges of the Court, elected by other judges, for a tenure of three years.

The Judicial Divisions consist of eighteen judges divided into pre trial division, trial division and appeals division.  The judges of each division sit in chambers for conducting the proceedings of the Court at different stages.  Assignment of judges to divisions is made on the basis of the nature of the functions each division performs and the qualifications and experience of the judge.  It ensures that each division comprise of an appropriate combination of expertise in criminal law and international law.

The office of prosecutor is responsible for receiving referrals and other information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the court, to examine and conduct investigations and prosecutions before the Court.  The office is headed by the prosecutor and assisted by deputy prosecutor.

The registry is responsible for the non judicial aspects of the administration and servicing of the Court.  It is headed by the registrar who is the principal administrative officer of the court and exercises the functions under the President of the court.

The Court also includes a number of semi autonomous offices such as the office of public counsel for victims and the office of public counsel for defense. These offices fall under the registry for administrative purposes but otherwise function as wholly independent offices.  These offices function independently except for administrative functions.

Inside Structure of the Court