On 5 March 2020, the ICC Appeals Chamber (AC) authorised the opening of an investigation into the crimes alleged to have been committed on the territory of Afghanistan since 1 May 2003, as well as other alleged crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan and are sufficiently linked to the situation in Afghanistan and were committed on the territory of other States Parties to the Rome Statute since 1 July 2002.
The AC amended the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) II of 12 April 2019, which had rejected the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation of an investigation of 20 November 2017 and had found that the commencement of an investigation would not be in the interests of justice.
It found that the PTC erred in deciding that ‘an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice’; the PTC’s decision should have addressed only whether there is a reasonable factual basis for the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation, in the sense of whether crimes have been committed, and whether the potential case(s) arising from such investigation would appear to fall within the Court’s jurisdiction.
Cf. ICC-02/17-138, Judgment on the appeal against the decision on the authorisation of an investigation in Afghanistan, 5/3/2020, https://www.icc-cpi.int/CourtRecords/CR2020_00828.PDF