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ICC Gains Momentum


ICC Gains Momentum

Construction of International Criminal Court Gains Momentum in The Hague and at UN General Assembly Director of Common Services Instated as Number of Judicial Nominations Mounts

(New York, October 15, 2002) - Efforts to construct the new International Criminal Court (ICC), the first permanent judicial body capable of holding individuals accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, are gaining momentum this week. The first senior official of the ICC, the Director of Common Services, Mr. Bruno Cathala, began work in the Hague, while in New York, during the meeting of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, government representatives made announcements regarding candidates for the Court's first bench.

"In spite of intense opposition to the establishment of the new permanent ICC by one nation, the Coalition is very pleased that appointments and nominations of highly qualified persons to lead the new world court are proceeding expeditiously," said William Pace, Conevnor of the global NGO Coalition for the ICC. "Thus, the constructive momentum continues to prevail."

Mr. Cathala, who began work in the Hague today, was appointed to the position of the Director of Common Services by decision of the Assembly of States Parties - the Court's governing body - on September 10. The Director of the Common Services Department is charged with preparing job descriptions, recruiting staff and overseeing the work that will establish the Court over the next few months. Mr. Cathala, a French national, left his post of Deputy Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia to accept this position, which is slated to last for a term of nine months.

Yesterday and today during the Sixth Committee meeting of the UN General Assembly, statements of support for the ICC and announcements regarding judicial candidates were heard. To date, seven candidates have been posted to the UN web site for the ICC ( http://www.un.org/law/icc/elections/nominations.htm), including Mr. Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan of Mongolia, Mr. Adrian Fulford of the United Kingdom, Mr. Adolphus G. Karibi-Whyte of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph-Medard Katuala Kaba Kashala of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Philippe Kirsch of Canada, Mr. Kamugumya S. K. Lugakingira of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr. Doudou Ndir of Senegal and Ms. Barbara Liliane Ott of Switzerland. The Coalition has heard statements of intent to nominate from Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Gabon, Italy, Paraguay, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda, and expects further nominations will soon be made formal.

The Coalition is calling for many governments to put forward nominees and to reject political patronage nominations. The Coalition is also encouraging governments to consider qualified female candidates in order to meet the gender requirements identified in the Rome Statute. To date, only two of the eighteen nominees announced either formally or informally are women. The Coalition is extremely concerned that no candidate for the Prosecutor has been made known. The nomination period for the eighteen judges and Prosecutor will close on November 30, 2002, the date by which countries that wish to nominate a judge or put forward a candidate for Prosecutor must have deposited their instrument of ratification of or accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC at the UN Treaty Office in New York. The election of judges and the Prosecutor is scheduled to be held during the first resumed session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute at United Nations headquarters in New York from February 3 - 7, 2003.

About the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court The NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is a network of over 1,000 civil society organizations and legal associations working to support a permanent, fair and independent International Criminal Court. Established in 1995, the CICC is the leading source of information regarding the ICC and the international movement to support its formation. For more information, please visit http://www.iccnow.org.


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