Definitions

English criminal court

Judges of the International Criminal Court

The eighteen judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are elected for nine-year terms by the member-countries of the Court. Candidates must be nationals of those countries and they must "possess the qualifications required in their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices".

A judge may be disqualified from "any case in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground", and a judge may be removed from office if he or she "is found to have committed serious misconduct or a serious breach of his or her duties" or is unable to exercise his or her functions.

The judges are organized into three divisions: the Pre-Trial Division, Trial Division and Appeals Division.

Qualifications, election and terms

Judges are elected to the ICC by the Assembly of States Parties, the Court's governing body. They serve nine-year terms and are not generally eligible for re-election.

All judges must be nationals of states parties to the Rome Statute, and no two judges may be nationals of the same state. They must be “persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices”, and they must "have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court" (English and French).

Judges are elected from two lists of candidates. List A comprises candidates who 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". List B comprises candidates who 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". Elections are organised so that there are always at least nine serving judges from List A and at least five from List B.

The Assembly of States Parties is required to "take into account the need for the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, equitable geographical representation and a fair representation of female and male judges. They shall take into account the need to include judges with legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, violence against women and children."

Elections

As of September 2008, three elections have taken place. In February 2003, the Assembly of States Parties elected the first bench of eighteen judges from a total of 43 candidates. After this first election, the President of the Assembly of States Parties drew lots to assign the eighteen judges to terms of three, six or nine years; those who served for three years were eligible for re-election in 2006. The first bench of judges was sworn in at the inaugural session of the Court on March 11 2003.

The second election was held on 26 January 2006. Five of the six outgoing judges were re-elected, but Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade was defeated. He was succeeded by Ekaterina Trendafilova.

A third election took place on 3 December 2007, to replace three judges who had resigned. The three new judges will serve the remaining portions of their predecessors' terms. The next election is due to take place in January 2009.

Disqualification and removal from office

The prosecutor or any person being investigated or prosecuted may request the disqualification of a judge from "any case in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground". Any request for the disqualification of a judge from a particular case is decided by an absolute majority of the other judges.

A judge may be removed from office if he or she "is found to have committed serious misconduct or a serious breach of his or her duties" or is unable to exercise his or her functions. The removal of a judge requires both a two-thirds majority of the other judges and a two-thirds majority of the states parties.

Presidency

The Presidency is the organ responsible for the proper administration of the Court. It comprises the President and the First and Second Vice-Presidents — three judges of the Court who are elected to the Presidency by their fellow judges for a maximum of two three-year terms.

As of September 2008, the President is Philippe Kirsch. Akua Kuenyehia is First Vice-President and René Blattmann is Second Vice-President. All three were elected to their current terms on 11 March 2006.

Judicial divisions

The eighteen judges are organized into three divisions: the Pre-Trial Division, Trial Division and Appeals Division. The Pre-Trial Division (which comprises the First Vice President and six other judges) confirms indictments and issues international arrest warrants. The Trial Division (the Second Vice President and five other judges) presides over trials. Decisions of the Pre-Trial and Trial Divisions may be appealed to the Appeals Division (the President and four other judges). Judges are assigned to divisions according to their qualifications and experience.

Current judges

As of September 2008, there are seventeen sitting judges, because Navanethem Pillay resigned on 31 August 2008 in order to serve as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Pillay's term was due to finish in early 2009; she has yet to be replaced.

Judges of the International Criminal Court, as of September 2008 (sortable)
Name Country Elected Term End Division
KirschPhilippe Kirsch Canada 2003 2009 Appeals
BlattmanRene Blattmann Bolivia 2003 2009 Trial
CotteBruno Cotte France 2007 2012 Trial
DiarraFatoumata Dembele Diarra Mali 2003 2012 Pre-Trial
FulfordSir Adrian Fulford United Kingdom 2003 2012 Trial
KaulHans-Peter Kaul Germany 2003, 2006 2015 Pre-Trial
KourulaErkki Kourula Finland 2003, 2006 2015 Appeals
KuenyehiaAkua Kuenyehia Ghana 2003, 2006 2015 Pre-Trial
NserekoDaniel David Ntanda Nsereko Uganda 2007 2012 Appeals
OdioElizabeth Odio Benito Costa Rica 2003 2012 Trial
PikisGeorghios Pikis Cyprus 2003 2009 Appeals
PolitiMauro Politi Italy 2003 2009 Pre-Trial
SaigaFumiko Saiga Japan 2007 2009 Pre-Trial
SongSang-Hyun Song South Korea 2003, 2006 2015 Appeals
SteinerSylvia Steiner Brazil 2003 2012 Pre-Trial
TrendafilovaEkaterina Trendafilova Bulgaria 2006 2015 Pre-Trial
UsackaAnita Usacka Latvia 2003, 2006 2015 Trial

As of September 2008, seven of the seventeen judges are female. The geographical representation is as follows:

Regional group Number of judges
Western European and other states 6
African states 3
Latin American and Caribbean states 3
Asian states 3
Eastern European states 2

Former judges

Former judges of the International Criminal Court, as of September 2008 (sortable)
Name Country Elected Term End Notes
SladeTuiloma Neroni Slade Samoa 2003 2006 Defeated in 2006 election
ClarkMaureen Harding Clark Ireland 2003 2006 Resigned to serve on the High Court of Ireland
JordaClaude Jorda France 2003 2007 Resigned "for reasons of permanent ill-health"
Hudson-PhillipsKarl Hudson-Phillips Trinidad and Tobago 2003 2007 Resigned "for personal reasons"
PillayNavanethem Pillay South Africa 2003 2008 Resigned to serve as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Notes and references

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