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Friday, December 6, 2019
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 28 2015 (IPS) - The health-related resignation of an International Criminal Court (ICC) judge has paved the way for Asia-Pacific governments to improve their legal representation in the international legal system, said the group Coalition for the ICC on Thursday.
ICC rules on geographical representation offer the Asia-Pacific region the opportunity to put forward candidates for the Hague-based Court, in an election to be held in June. The newly elected judge will hold his role for the remaining nine-year term which began in 2012.
“With this election, Asia-Pacific governments have the opportunity to strengthen peace, justice and the rule of law in international affairs by nominating highly qualified candidates for election to the world’s highest criminal court” said William R. Pace, convenor of the Coalition for the ICC, a global network of civil society organisations, that strengthens cooperation with the Court and ensures its effectiveness and independence.
According to the ICC Rome Statute, there is a framework for judicial elections, which fosters fair competitive elections and transparent gender representation. It includes minimum qualifications for judges, and ensures the representation of all major legal systems.
The Court is the world’s first permanent international court established to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It is composed of 18 judges, representing all regions and principal legal systems of the world.
The current Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, is responsible for receiving any referrals and information about war crimes, within the jurisdiction of the Court.
“With only ICC member states able to nominate candidates, this election is also a compelling incentive for Asia-Pacific states close to joining the Court to take the final step,” said Amielle Del Rosario, the Coalition’s Asia-Pacific regional coordinator.
“By participating in this election, states such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam could play a meaningful role in shaping the future of the Court,” she said.
Every candidate must have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least English or French- the working languages of the Court.
In the interest of encouraging transparency in the nomination process, the Coalition will help publicise and raise awareness of the candidates put forward by governments, says William Pace. This includes consultations with civil society, professional and national legal associations.
Pace said in a statement, “Since 2003, the Coalition has been promoting informed, merit-based elections by governments by ensuring that the qualifications and expertise of candidates for elections are as well-known as possible.”
Usually, nominated candidates are requested to fill in questionnaires to provide additional information about their qualifications, to hold interviews and to assist to public seminars and debates with the other contestants and experts.
Nominees must be submitted by ICC member states by 31 March 2015.
Edited by Roger Hamilton-Martin
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