129-Certain Criminal Proceedings in France (DRC vs France)

On December 9th, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Congo filed an application instituting proceedings against France to stop the investigation and prosecution carried out by the French judicial system following allegations of crimes against humanity and torture allegedly committed in the Congo against Congolese nationals. These complaints targeted certain members of the Congolese Government, including the President of the Republic, the Minister of the Armed Forces, the Minister of the Interior, the Commander of the Presidential Guard and the Inspector General of the Armed Forces.

The Congo founded the jurisdiction of the ICJ on Article 38 paragraph 5 of the Rules of the Court. The application instituting proceedings was accompanied by a request for the indication of provisional measures, seeking “an order for the immediate suspension of the proceedings being conducted by the investigating judge of the Meaux Tribunal de grande instance“. In its order of June 17, 2003, the Court rejected that request, ruling that there was no evidence of any prejudice, actual or foreseeable that could justify such measures.

Order of 17-06-2003.pdf

In a letter dated November 5, 2010, the agent of the Congo, referring to Article 89 of its Rules, informed the Court that his government was “withdraw [ing]… its application instituting proceedings” and requested the judicial body “to make an Order officially recording the discontinuance of the proceedings and directing the removal of the case from the List.” As France did not oppose to this, the case was removed from the List by an Order dated 16 November 2010.

Order of 16-11-2010.pdf

This summary of the facts of this case and the proceedings is only proposed for informational purposes, does not engage Dome in any way and cannot replace the careful reading of the judgments and orders of the case.