The Independent Panel on International Criminal Court Judicial Elections (Panel) assesses judicial candidates for the International Criminal Court (ICC or Court) based on the requirements of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute. The ICC is a permanent international court which investigates and tries individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Panel is composed of international law and judicial experts from around the world, and represents both civil and common law systems. The Panel was established to fill a significant gap in the procedure for the election of judges to the bench of the ICC, namely an independent assessment of whether each judicial candidate fulfils the qualifications prescribed by Article 36 of the Rome Statute. This provision establishes a framework for the election of judges to the ICC, including by fixing qualifications for judges, fostering fair and competitive elections, and ensuring geographic and equitable gender representation.
Between 13 June and 16 September 2011, States Parties to the Rome Statute nominated 19 candidates to fill six judicial vacancies at the ICC at elections to be held in December 2011 at the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), the Court’s governing body. These elections represent the most significant change to the composition of the Court’s bench so far. The six new judges will serve non-renewable terms of nine years.
With a view to raising awareness of the qualifications for ICC judicial candidates and encouraging States Parties to nominate only the most highly-qualified candidates for these crucial ICC elections, the Panel issued a report containing an assessment of each judicial candidate as “Qualified” or “Not Qualified”. The report explains any assessment of “Not Qualified”. The Panel makes its assessments and issues its report in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The Panel will neither endorse nor oppose any individual candidate in the elections.
The Panel is an independent committee established by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court in December 2010. The views of the Panel and its assessments of judicial candidates are strictly its own and do not reflect those of the Coalition.
The Panel members are:
• The Honourable Richard J. Goldstone (Chair), former Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
• The Honourable Patricia Wald (Vice-Chair), former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and former Judge of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
• The Honourable Hans Corell, former Judge of Appeal and former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations
• Judge O-Gon Kwon, Judge and Vice President of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and former Presiding Judge at the Daegu High Court
• Dr. Cecilia Medina Quiroga, Director of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Chile and former Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights