The move came from a group of lawyers acting on behalf of, amongst others, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), according to an ICC press release on Friday. They lodged a communication with the ICC Registrar on December 13, 2013, “seeking to accept the exercise of the ICC’s jurisdiction pursuant to article 12(3) of the Rome Statute with respect to alleged crimes committed on the territory of the State of Egypt since 1 June 2013”.
The Registrar subsequently verified with the Egyptian authorities whether the communication was transmitted on behalf of the State, but “did not receive a positive confirmation”, according to the press release.
Egypt is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty. The Court’s jurisdiction with respect to non-States Parties can be triggered if the relevant State voluntarily accepts the jurisdiction of the ICC by lodging a declaration pursuant to article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, or if the United Nations Security Council refers a situation to the ICC Prosecutor. Neither of these conditions are so far met in the case of Egypt, says the release.
This latest decision “should in no way be construed as a determination on the nature of any alleged crime committed in Egypt or on the merits of any evidence presented”, according to the ICC press release.