Document Type



This Comment examines the proprio motu power of the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor through the lens of a recent decision to permit the court’s Prosecutor to investigate potential crimes against humanity in the Republic of Kenya. After a deeply contested election in 2007, violence exploded across the country leaving many civilians hurt or dead. The Prosecutor asked the court to permit him to open an investigation, a first in the ICC’s history, where most investigations are initiated through a request from either a State Party or the Security Council. While the use of the proprio motu initiative is deeply controversial, this Comment proposes that this prosecutorial power is essential in achieving the goals of the ICC: to end impunity for crimes against humanity.