18 Judges Elected to the Intl. Criminal Court
[ICC] FIRST BENCH ELECTED
First 18 Judges Elected to the International Criminal Court Voting Procedures Facilitate Representative and Historic Election
(New York, February 7, 2003) - After a week of intense, marathon proceedings, eighty-five States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) elected eighteen judges to the first permanent, global court capable of trying individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This first bench includes seven women and a balanced number of elected candidates by region and civil and common law systems.
Public attention to this international judicial election by the more than 2,000 member NGO Coalition for the ICC improved the process, and the minimum voting requirements worked much better than predicted. "Highly qualified, independent judges have been elected and regional, gender and legal system balance has been achieved," said William Pace, Convenor of the global NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "The unprecedented attention focused on the ICC election process helped prevent lowest common denominator political processes from undermining the election and the new ICC," he said.
Pace added, "With the election of the judges successfully concluded, the governments will now proceed to elect a highly qualified Prosecutor - someone who will assume world leader status." The Assembly agreed to re-open the nomination period for the position of Prosecutor from March 24 - April 4, 2003. The election of the Prosecutor will be held during the resumed meeting of the Assembly during April 21 - 23, 2003.
Elected judges, and the number of years they will serve according to a random drawing of lots are: Mr. René Blattmann of Bolivia, six years; Ms. Maureen Harding Clark of Ireland, nine years; Ms. Fatoumata Dembele Diarra of Mali, nine years; Mr. Adrian Fulford of the United Kingdom, nine years; Mr. Karl T. Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago, nine years; Mr. Claude Jorda of France, six years; Mr. Hans-Peter Kaul of Germany, three years; Mr. Philippe Kirsch of Canada, six years; Mr. Erkki Kourula of Finland, three years; Ms. Akua Kuenyehia of Ghana, three years; Ms. Elizabeth Odio Benito of Costa Rica, nine years; Ms. Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, six years; Mr. Geoghios M. Pikis of Cyprus, six years; Mr. Mauro Politi of Italy, six years; Mr. Tuiloma Neroni Slade of Samoa, three years; Mr. Sang-hyun Song of the Republic of Korea, three years; Ms. Sylvia H. de Figueiredo Steiner of Brazil, nine years; and Ms. Anita Usacka of Latvia, three years.
Seven judges, including six women, were elected in the first ballot. One was elected in the third ballot and three were elected in the fourth. Following the fourth ballot, the minimum voting requirements were discontinued. The remaining judges were elected one each in the 13th, 21st, 28th and 33rd ballots, and three were elected in the ninth ballot.
The candidacy of Mr. Ivo Josipovic of Croatia was withdrawn following the 32nd ballot, enabling Mr. Claude Jorda, currently President of the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia, to become the 18th elected judge. In a statement announcing the withdrawal of Mr. Josipovic, the Croatian Ambassador to the U.N., Mr. Ivan Simonovic, congratulated all candidates and said, "We firmly believe that the election of the first generation of judges is a historic moment and that the Court will be decisive in the improvement in the protection of the most basic human rights worldwide. We will continue to contribute to this most noble goal with all our efforts."
Minimum voting requirements, adopted during the first meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in September 2002, facilitated the diversity of gender, geographic distribution and legal expertise amongst elected candidates. "We're thrilled that States Parties have taken the minimum voting requirements seriously and honored the spirit of the Rome Statute," said Pam Spees, Program Director of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, a steering committee member of the Coalition for the ICC. "This is an unprecedented level of gender diversity in an international judicial institution. It really is a major leap forward and as a result there is a regionally diverse pool of highly qualified women judges who will bring different types of expertise to the work of the Court."
Judges are to be sworn in during an inaugural ceremony on March 11 in The Hague, The Netherlands, where the ICC has maintained an office since the July 1, 2002 entry into force of the Court's treaty. The Court's Division of Common Services currently employs nearly 40 individuals who come from 25 countries around the world. According to Sam Muller, Deputy Director of the Division Common Services, the Court will continue to recruit new staff at a rate of approximately three to four hires per week in order to put in place the 200 employees provided for in its first fiscal year budget.
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For more information on the ICC, visit www.icc.int .
About the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court The NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Coalition) is a global network of well over 1,000 members working together to support a permanent , fair and independent International Criminal Court. Established in 1995, the Coalition is the leading online provider of information on the ICC. For more information, please visit http://www.iccnow.org.
-- Adele Waugaman :: Media Liaison Coalition for the International Criminal Court
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