Case Mapping, Selection and Prioritisation


Criminal justice institutions are frequently overwhelmed by the scale of core international crimes and gross human rights violations, which often require the adoption of management tools capable of responding to this challenge. Without such tools, large backlogs of reported violations or open case files may arise, leading to lack of accountability. Moreover, where many violations have occurred, national justice systems will need to prioritise or even select cases for criminal investigation and prosecution, possibly alongside other measures of accountability and justice. The ICC system of justice encourages the criminal prosecution of individuals who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes.

The Case Mapping, Selection and Prioritisation Toolkit aims to support comprehensive mapping and analysis of open case files, including the identification and review of bottlenecks of cases. This enables accurate and transparent information of all open case files, which can support the prioritisation or the selection of case files for criminal investigation and prosecution, as well as effective real-time monitoring of the progression of cases.

Database: DOCF (Database of Open Case Files)

DOCF provides a structure to organise open case files involving core international crimes and gross human rights violations to enable better-informed decisions on selection and prioritisation of cases.

  • Substantive case mapping, analysis of backlogs, diagnosing bottlenecks;
  • Analysis based on national legal frameworks;
  • Increased accuracy, information flow and transparency;
  • Facilitation of case selection and prioritisation.



It builds on earlier models developed by CMN Advisers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (through the good offices of the OSCE Mission) and in the DRC (through UNOPS).


  • User manual on the use of DOCF, available in English and French
  • Guidelines on case mapping, selection and prioritisation
  • Guidelines on international criminal law research
  • Policy briefs


  • Technical assistance
  • Capacity Development Partnership
Further reading:

Morten Bergsmo, (ed.). “Criteria for Prioritizing and Selecting Core International Crimes Cases”, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Oslo, 2010, 284 pp. (ISBN 978-82-93081-06-7).

Morten Bergsmo, Kjetil Helvig, Ilia Utmelidze and Gorana Zagovec (eds.), “The Backlog of Core International Crimes Case Files in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Oslo, 2010. 232 pp. (ISBN 978-82-93081-04-3).

Morten Bergsmo, (ed.), “Thematic Prosecution of International Sex Crimes”,Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Beijing, 2012, 452 pp (ISBN 978-82-93081-31-9).