Thursday, January 13, 2011

Experts to vet aspiring ICC judges

In anticipation of International Criminal Court elections, civil society has tapped several independent experts to vet candidates.
Honored to say that among those serving on the Independent Panel on International Criminal Court Judicial Elections will be an IntLawGrrls alumna. She's Patricia M. Wald (below left), formerly Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia -- and, as demonstrated by prior IntLawGrrls posts, a leading proponent for the selection of exceptional judicial candidates.
Joining Judge Wald on the panel convened by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court will be another woman, Dr. Cecilia Medina Quiroga (below right), Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Chile and former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (prior posts).
Completing the panel are 3 men: Hans Corell (prior posts), former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel of the United Nations; Justice Richard Goldstone (prior posts), former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; and Judge O-Gon Kwon (prior post), ICTY Vice President and former Presiding Judge at the Daegu High Court in South Korea.
According to a CICC release, these independent experts will be tasked
to help fill a significant gap in the procedures – the lack of a competent, fair, independent assessment of whether the nominees actually fulfil the qualifications prescribed by the Rome Statute.
To do so, the experts will develop a vetting procedure like that some national bar associations use to evaluate domestic judicial candidates. Their yardstick will be Article 36(b) of the Rome Statute of the ICC, which states:

(a) The judges shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices.
(b) Every candidate for election to the Court shall:
(i) Have established competence in criminal law and procedure, and the necessary relevant experience, whether as judge, prosecutor, advocate or in other similar capacity, in criminal proceedings; or
(ii) Have established competence in relevant areas of international law such as international humanitarian law and the law of human rights, and extensive experience in a professional legal capacity which is of relevance to the judicial work of the Court;
(c) Every candidate for election to the Court shall have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court.
ICC States Parties are expected this year to put forward candidates for election by the ICC Assembly of States Parties, given that the 9-year terms of 6 ICC judges will expire in March 2012.

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