Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Lacks Locus Standi Under Article 12(3) of ICC Rome Statute


On 1 May 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) dismissed a communication submitted last December by lawyers acting on behalf of, amongst others, the Freedom and Justice Party of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. The communication sought to express consent, on behalf of Egypt, to the exercise of the ICC’s jurisdiction for alleged crimes committed in the State since 1 June 2013. The OTP stated that ‘the applicants lacked locus standi to seize the Court’s jurisdiction pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute.’

On 8 May 2014, following ‘recent media reports and enquiries from the public’, the OTP provided a further update setting out the reasons for its dismissal of the communication. The OTP found that on the date that the application was signed/submitted, Dr Morsi did not have ‘effective control’ over the State’s territory. Essentially, the OTP considered that Dr Morsi: (a) did not enjoy ‘the habitual obedience of the bulk of the population’; (b) did not have ‘a reasonable expectancy of permanence’; and (c) is not ‘recognized as the government of that State under international law’. Dr Morsi was ‘no longer the governmental authority with the legal capacity to incur new international legal obligations on behalf of the State of Egypt’, the OTP said.

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