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Mexico: Bill on Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

(Apr. 8, 2016) In February 2016, a bill was introduced in Mexico’s House of Representatives aimed at amending article 21, paragraph 8, of the Mexican Constitution, which governs the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Mexico. (Iniciativa que reforma el artículo 21 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, suscrita por integrantes del Grupo Parlamentario del PRD, GACETA PARLAMENTARIA, No. 4458-IV (Feb. 1, 2016), available at the House of Representatives website.)

Currently, the Constitution provides that Mexico’s President may recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, with approval of the Senate, on a case by case basis. (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos [Political Constitution of the United Mexican States], art. 21 ¶ 8, DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN (Feb. 5, 1917, as amended through Jan. 29, 2016), House of Representatives website.)

The bill proposes amending this provision by repealing the language requiring presidential and senatorial approval of the ICC’s jurisdiction. This would effectively make ICC jurisdiction binding on Mexican authorities, as they would not have the discretional authority to recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. (Iniciativa que reforma el artículo 21 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, suscrita por integrantes del Grupo Parlamentario del PRD, supra.)

It is unclear when, or if, the bill will be passed into law.