Judges' Elections Rule the Day

Assembly of States Parties 2017

5 December 2017

5 Judges Elected, Crime of Aggression discussions commence

Day two of ASP 16 saw the ICC member states elect 3 more new judges to the ICC bench. The results of the day followed yesterday’s election of 2 judges, Ms. Tomoko Akane (Japan, List A) and Ms. Luz del Carmen Ibañez del Carmen (Peru, List A).

Before the third round of voting in the ICC judicial elections began at 10AM, Bosnian candidate Mr. Dragomir Vukoje withdrew his candidacy. Venezuela was meanwhile granted a special exemption to vote despite its level of arrears. During the third round, no candidates received the required majority, so the existing minimum voting requirements (MVR) remained intact: three female candidates, one candidate from Africa and on one ‘List B’ candidate.

The ICC member states entered round 4—the last round where MVRs for gender and geography would apply—with much on the line. With candidates from Ghana and Uganda in a close race for the next vote, based on previous rounds’ ballots, delegations from both states requested and were granted 15 minutes for a “regional group level consultation.”

Prior to collecting ballots in the fourth round, the ASP Vice-President, presiding over the session,  announced that Vanuatu had requested and received a special exemption to vote despite its arrears, meaning all States Parties present would be eligible to vote. Before reading out the results of the fourth ballot, the Vice-President highlighted that for the first time in electing ICC judges, all 123 ASP member states had cast valid ballots.

Ms. Reine Alapini-Gansou (Benin, List B) and Ms. Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda, List A) were announced as the latest candidates to be elected to the ICC judicial bench. Entering the fifth round, ICC member states were left with six candidates for two remaining seats, with minimum voting requirements for region and gender discontinued for the remaining voting rounds.

In the fifth round of voting, all 123 ICC member states cast valid ballots for a second time. Out of the 123 ICC member states, one abstained. Canada received the highest number of votes totaling 76, followed by Italy receiving 45, Ghana receiving 42, and Croatia receiving 37. The candidates from Lesotho and Uruguay received 22 and 17 votes, respectively. At the end of the fifth round, none of the candidates received the required two/thirds majority of votes of 82, which meant a sixth round of voting would have to take place.

Immediately before the sixth round, Lesotho and Uruguay withdrew their candidates’ nominations, leaving four judicial candidates to fill the remaining two vacant positions.

The sixth round of voting saw the election of the Canadian candidate, Ms. Kimberly Prost (list A), receiving 92 of the 123 votes, thus fulfilling the required two/thirds majority of votes of 82. Croatia announced the withdrawal of its candidate, leaving only the candidate from Italy, Mr. Rosario Salvatore Aitala (List A), and the candidate from Ghana, Ms. Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu (List A), in the race.

The election proceeded to a seventh round, in which the candidate from Italy received 77 votes and the candidate from Ghana received 45 votes, neither of which amounted to fulfilling the required two/thirds majority of 82 votes. An eighth round of voting will begin tomorrow at 10AM, on day 3 of the 16th ASP session

Following the elections, ICC member states held their first informal consultation of the 16th ASP session on the activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.

Tweets from day two: What else is going on?

Tomorrow at the ASP

Day three of ASP 16 will start with what will likely be the last round of voting in the ICC judicial election. Following the election of the sixth ICC judge, the ASP Bureau election will resume. These elections were suspended on Day 1 to allow for the group of Latin American and Caribbean states to reach consensus on which states will represent the region in the Bureau for the next three years.

In the afternoon, the ASP session's traditional General Debate will begin.

The Coalition encouraged States Parties, non-states parties, regional and international organizations, and civil society representatives taking the floor during the General Debate to take full advantage of the opportunity to express strong support and commitment to the Rome Statute and ICC. The General Debate will continue on Wednesday, when the Coalition and members of civil society will address the Assembly.

During the lunch break civil society and states will be holding a number of side events.

Denmark, Germany and Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) will co-host an event to discuss Universality of the Rome Statute within the broader Human Rights Agenda - The Role of Parliamentarians, while Belgium and Senegal will co-organize Fighting impunity for the most serious crimes – Strengthening the central role of National Jurisdictions.

The experience of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) will be at the center of Making reparations a reality  (co-hosted by Finland, Ireland, Uruguay and the TFV).

Switzerland, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, MADRE and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ) will co-host An examination of gender justice crimes and current conflicts (Central African Republic and Iraq) and reflections on progress over the past 15 years together with the launch of WIGJ's new publication ‘The Compendium’.

And a TFV Board of Directors reception will feature an exhibition on the TFV programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda (co-hosted by The Netherlands and the TFV).  

View the full ASP Agenda 2017

All ASP 2017 information and documents.