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During the 10th ASP, the sixth judicial election was held to fill six judicial vacancies at the Court, thereby replacing one third of the ICC judges and thus significantly changing the bench’s composition. The new judges will be sworn in on 11 March 2012 and serve for a non-renewable term of nine years.
The 6 judges who obtained the highest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of votes from present states were: Miriam Defensor-Santiago (the Philippines), Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona (Trinidad and Tobago), Robert Fremr (Czech Republic), Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic), Howard Morrison (United Kingdom) and Chile Eboe-Osuji (Nigeria). For further details on this election see the Sixth Judicial Elections.
Article 36 of the Rome Statute requires that candidates have established competence in criminal law and procedure and the necessary relevant experience in criminal proceedings (list A candidates) or in relevant areas of international law and extensive experience in a professional legal capacity (list B candidates). The rules on the procedure for the nomination and election of judges of the ICC require that at all times at least nine judges shall be from list A and at least five from list B. In addition, States Parties are required to take into account equitable geographical representation, a fair gender balance and representation of the principal legal systems of the world. To this end, elections are subject to minimum voting requirements determined by a formula established with regard to the judges remaining on the bench.
While a judicial candidate must be a national of a State Party to the Rome Statute, the candidate can be nominated by any State Party and is not required to be nominated by the state of which the candidate is a national. Candidates must possess the qualifications required in their respective State for appointment to the highest judicial offices.
In an effort to identify the best candidates and provide transparent and accurate information regarding their respective qualifications and professional background, the Coalition seeks input from national, regional, and international NGOs throughout its global network.
Prior to the 2011 judicial elections, and in accordance with previous years, the Coalition hosted two panel debates with the participation of 11 of the 19 candidates for the judicial vacancies. These panels allowed candidates to introduce themselves to representatives of civil society and states, and gave panelists and audience an opportunity to interact in a question and answer session.
Educate and Promote Highest Qualified Nominations
The Coalition and like-minded governments succeeded in securing important provisions in the Rome Statute to enhance qualifications, to foster genuine elections, and insure equitable gender representation. The Coalition is now committed to ensuring the full application of these provisions.
Since the first elections in 2003, the Coalition has helped publicize and raise awareness on the elections and candidates. The Coalition asks all nominees to fill out questionnaires that provide additional information about the candidates’ qualifications. The Coalition seeks to interview all candidates, hold public seminars with available candidates and experts, and host public debates between the candidates. These actions will help enable nominees to expand on their respective qualifications and expertise, as well as to promote fully-informed decision-making by State Parties delegates.
The Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections
In order to enhance the nomination and election process, in 2010 the Coalition established an independent high-level expert panel to raise awareness and consider whether candidates put forward by States Parties meet the qualifications prescribed by the Rome Statute.
In 2011 the Panel helped fill a significant gap in the elections process: the need for a competent, fair, independent assessment of whether each nominee fulfills the qualifications prescribed by the Rome Statute. As with the Coalition, the Panel neither endorsed nor opposed any individual candidate in the 2011 elections. More information on the Independent Panel and a copy of its Report on the 2011 elections can be found at the Panel’s website at: iccindependentpanel.org.
Please note that the Panel is independent of the Coalition; the Coalition will therefore neither speak for nor act on behalf of the Panel. The Panel’s views and assessments will be its own.
Article 36 4(c) of the Rome Statute provides that the ASP may establish an Advisory Committee on nominations. In the omnibus resolution adopted during the 10th session of the ASP, the recommendations of the Bureau on the Advisory Committee were adopted, establishing and mandating the committee to provide objective assessments of the nominated candidates, guided by the applicable provisions of article 36 of the Rome Statute. The committee is intended to facilitate the election of the highest qualified individuals as judges of the ICC, and is as such an initiative encouraged and welcomed by the Coalition. The Coalition will be monitoring further developments within the ASP’s governing Bureau regarding the Advisory Committee throughout 2012.
More on the Coalition’s Campaign on ICC Elections
More on the Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections
For more information on the election of ICC Judges, please contact Tobias Hanson.