Colombia

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Seminar on Command Responsibility and Commission by Omission held on November 4th 2015 in Bogota.

The Case Matrix Network (CMN) has been active in Colombia since 2013 where our main co-operation partner is the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia. The objective of our co-operation with the Office of the Attorney General is to strengthen its capacity to undertake investigations of core international crimes, with a particular focus on sexual and gender-based violence. The CMN has been supporting the Office with training programmes and peer-to-peer exchanges with international criminal law practitioners on a number of relevant issues. We have been providing support to enhance overall investigation processes and assisting with advice to individual prosecution units in specific cases.

The Office of the Attorney General of Colombia is developing its methodologies and tools for mapping victims of sexual and gender-based violence with the intention to select and prioritise investigation of the most relevant cases. The CMN has been providing access to its relevant methodology and tools.

Prioritising the prosecution of the most responsible persons requires a clear concept and methodology of criminal responsibility, including in-direct perpetrators who planned, co-ordinated or funded the atrocities, as well as direct perpetrators. The CMN has created a comparative chart of the modes of liability under the ICC Statute and Colombian law as well as an analysis of the applicable national forms of liability for perpetrators of international crimes. The CMN has also developed specific guidelines for practitioners on legal requirements of sexual and gender-based violence crimes supplemented with the relevant international jurisprudence.

Context

As a State Party to the ICC, Colombia has been under preliminary examination by the ICC-OTP since June 2004. In its 2012 Interim Report on the Situation in Colombia, the OTP acknowledged that the Colombian conflict had generated high levels of violence and crimes against millions of victims, and that while the Colombian authorities were carrying out a large number of relevant proceedings, it identified a need for greater prioritisation of categories of persons and certain categories of crimes for criminal investigation and prosecution. Equally, through temporary constitutional reforms, Colombia has adopted the “Legal Framework for Peace” (LFP), which enables the adoption of a strategy to prioritise cases against the most responsible for crimes against humanity or war crimes. In September 2013, a Constitutional Court ruling declared the LFP to be constitutional, while issuing a series of directions for the identification of a prioritisation strategy. In October 2012, the Attorney General adopted “Directive 0001 in support of the LFP, establishing a new investigative policy and infrastructure to address the requirements of the LFP.