One of the unique challenges that the International Criminal Court's (ICC's) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) faces is deciding when and where to launch investigations. It is a task that other international prosecutors have not confronted. Their investigative “situations” were selected in advance, leaving those prosecutors free to focus on the myriad other challenges any international justice enterprise faces. The ICC prosecutor's ability to define her own investigative situations (within the limits of jurisdiction) is both a boon and a burden. On the one hand, it accords the OTP the freedom to select the situations it deems most serious and worthy of international attention. Yet this discretion can also generate intense strain for the prosecutor of a still novel and fragile institution.
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