UN Security Council Referral

The UN Security Council (UNSC) may refer alleged atrocity crimes committed in any country to the ICC Prosecutor by passing a resolution authorized by the UN Charter.

  • In March 2005, the UNSC referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the ICC. 
  • In February 2011, the UNSC referred the situation in Libya to the ICC.

If a permanent member of the UNSC vetoes a resolution to refer a situation to the ICC, the Court cannot gain jurisdiction. The permanent members of the UNSC are China, France, Russia, United States of America, and United Kingdom. In May 2014, Russia and China vetoed the referral of Syria to the ICC.


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