Enforcement of sentences imposed

Swiss Confederation

Federal Law on Cooperation with the International Criminal Court 2001


Art. 1 Object
1 established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 17 July 1998 (Statute).

2 It shall regulate in particular:
a. the surrender of persons being prosecuted and of persons convicted by the Court (Chapter 3);
b. other forms of cooperation (Chapter 4);
c. the enforcement of penalties of the Court (Chapter 5).


Art. 3 Central Authority

2 The Central Authority shall have the following responsibilities in particular:
g. It shall decide on requests of the Court for enforcement of penalties.


Art. 53 Conditions

1 Upon the request of the Court, Switzerland may accept the enforcement of a final and executable sentencing decision, if:
a. the convicted person is a Swiss citizen; or
b. if the person’s usual residence is in Switzerland.

2 Fines may also be executed if the convicted person’s usual residence is outside of Switzerland, but the person has assets in Switzerland.

Art. 54 Decision on the request of the Court for executing a sentence of imprisonment

1 Upon consultation with the authorities to be designated to execute sentences of imprisonment, the Central Authority shall decide on a request of the Court for executing a sentence of imprisonment.
2 If the Central Authority accepts the request, it shall notify the Court and transmit all relevant information regarding the execution of the sentence.

Art. 55 Execution of the sentence of imprisonment

1 Upon acceptance of the request by the Central Authority, the sentence of imprisonment imposed by the Court shall become executable in Switzerland. The sentence shall be binding; only the Court shall have the right to decide on any reduction of the term of imprisonment.

2 The sentence shall be executed in accordance with Swiss law, subject to paragraph 1.

3 Upon the request of the Court, the Central Authority shall transmit all relevant information concerning the execution of the sentence to the Court. The Court may at any time send one of its members to verify the conditions of imprisonment and meet unaccompanied with the convicted person.

4 Communications between the Court and the convicted person shall be confidential.

Art. 56 Requests of the convicted person

If the convicted person submits a request for conditional release, pardon, appeal, or retrial, the request shall be transmitted to the Central Authority. The Central Authority shall immediately forward the request with all useful documentation to the Court.

Art. 57 Costs

1 The Court shall be responsible for transportation costs as well as the costs specified in article 100 paragraph 1 subparagraphs c-e of the Statute.

2 The federal government shall be responsible for the remaining costs of the execution of sentences. The costs of detention shall be calculated on the basis of the rates for enforcement agreed upon between the Court and the host State in accordance with article 103 paragraph 4 of the Statute.


Art. 58

Article 41 shall apply by analogy to the enforcement of orders of forfeiture, if the Court has already decided on the disposition of objects or assets in accordance with article 75 or 79 of the Statute and if the Court asks Switzerland for enforcement.

Rome Statute

Article 103 Role of States in enforcement of sentences of imprisonment


(a) A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons.

(b) At the time of declaring its willingness to accept sentenced persons, a State may attach conditions to its acceptance as agreed by the Court and in accordance with this Part.

(c) A State designated in a particular case shall promptly inform the Court whether it accepts the Court's designation.


(a) The State of enforcement shall notify the Court of any circumstances, including the exercise of any conditions agreed under paragraph 1, which could materially affect the terms or extent of the imprisonment. The Court shall be given at least 45 days' notice of any such known or foreseeable circumstances. During this period, the State of enforcement shall take no action that might prejudice its obligations under article 110.

(b) Where the Court cannot agree to the circumstances referred to in subparagraph (a), it shall notify the State of enforcement and proceed in accordance with article 104, paragraph 1.

3. In exercising its discretion to make a designation under paragraph 1, the Court shall take into account the following:

(a) The principle that States Parties should share the responsibility for enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of equitable distribution, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence;

(b) The application of widely accepted international treaty standards governing the treatment of prisoners;

(c) The views of the sentenced person;

(d) The nationality of the sentenced person;

(e) Such other factors regarding the circumstances of the crime or the person sentenced, or the effective enforcement of the sentence, as may be appropriate in designating the State of enforcement.

4. If no State is designated under paragraph 1, the sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a prison facility made available by the host State, in accordance with the conditions set out in the headquarters agreement referred to in article 3, paragraph 2. In such a case, the costs arising out of the enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be borne by the Court.

Article 104 Change in designation of State of enforcement

1. The Court may, at any time, decide to transfer a sentenced person to a prison of another State.

2. A sentenced person may, at any time, apply to the Court to be transferred from the State of enforcement.

Article 105 Enforcement of the sentence

1. Subject to conditions which a State may have specified in accordance with article 103, paragraph 1 (b), the sentence of imprisonment shall be binding on the States Parties, which shall in no case modify it.

2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any application for appeal and revision. The State of enforcement shall not impede the making of any such application by a sentenced person.

Article 106 Supervision of enforcement of sentences and conditions of imprisonment

1. The enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be subject to the supervision of the Court and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty standards governing treatment of prisoners.

2. The conditions of imprisonment shall be governed by the law of the State of enforcement and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty standards governing treatment of prisoners; in no case shall such conditions be more or less favourable than those available to prisoners convicted of similar offences in the State of enforcement.

3. Communications between a sentenced person and the Court shall be unimpeded and confidential.

Article 109 Enforcement of fines and forfeiture measures

1. States Parties shall give effect to fines or forfeitures ordered by the Court under Part 7, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, and in accordance with the procedure of their national law.

2. If a State Party is unable to give effect to an order for forfeiture, it shall take measures to recover the value of the proceeds, property or assets ordered by the Court to be forfeited, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.

3. Property, or the proceeds of the sale of real property or, where appropriate, the sale of other property, which is obtained by a State Party as a result of its enforcement of a judgement of the Court shall be transferred to the Court.