On March 15, 2018, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his government will withdraw the Philippines from the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court.
The announcement follows approximately five weeks after the ICC opened a preliminary examination into thousands of death connected to Duterte’s violent campaign against suspected drug users and dealers. On February 7, 2018, the ICC Prosecutor announced she was opening a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed in this State Party since at least July 1, 2016.
Art. 127(1) of the Rome Treaty provides that a state party’s withdrawal takes effect one year after the United Nations secretary general receives written notification.
Art. 127(2) provides that a state party must continue to cooperate with the Court even after it withdraws and its withdrawal does not prejudice in any way the continued consideration by the Court of any matter that was already under consideration by the Court prior to the effective date of the withdrawal.
In practice, the announcement will give the ICC one year to complete its preliminary examination and, if confirmed, to then conduct its case.
Duterte’s statement said the decision to withdraw was due to “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks ” by U.N. officials and an effort by the ICC prosecutor to obtain jurisdiction “in violation of due process and presumption of innocence.” (Emily Rauhala, Duterte pulls out of treaty of court probe, Wash. Post, Mar. 15, 2018).
The Prosecutor started her investigation as a result of submissions by bar associations and civil society in the Philippines.
The IELR will have an article on this matter.