The ICC's Office of the Prosecutor and the Limits of Performance Indicators

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Performance indicators have long been part of the vocabulary of businesses and public administrations. Essentially, they are market-oriented tools occupying a central role in both the management and measurement of organizational performance. The present article assesses, in particular, the performance indicators adopted by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). In so doing, it traces the development of such indicators within the OTP strategies, and argues that current indicators do not measure prosecution effectiveness in terms of outcomes within conflict-affected societies. The article corroborates this argument by explaining how current indicators are inclined to prioritize the economy and efficiency of prosecutions, thus producing a gap in the measurement of the prosecutions’ effectiveness. The mentioned gap is explained by the OTP’s fundamental lack of clarity in precisely identifying the outcomes of prosecutions. In turn, the performance indicators adopted by the OTP may engender perverse effects, further aggravating the lack of clarity concerning outcomes. The article recommends the adoption of principles aimed at improving future OTP performance measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-565
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2017


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