Friday, 16 September 2011

Struggling to Find Judges at the ICC

Yesterday's Financial Times had a front page story entitled 'The Hague Struggles to Find Judges'. It is an astonishing situation. Judges must be nominated by States Parties, and must meet various qualifications including being citizens of a State Party. But States Parties need not nominate their own nationals to be judges. Here are the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute:

Article 36. Qualifications, nomination and election of judges
3. (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.
4. (a) Nominations of candidates for election to the Court may be made by any State Party to this Statute, and shall be made either:
(i) By the procedure for the nomination of candidates for appointment to the highest judicial offices in the State in question; or
(ii) By the procedure provided for the nomination of candidates for the International Court of Justice in the Statute of that Court.
Nominations shall be accompanied by a statement in the necessary detail specifying how the candidate fulfils the requirements of paragraph 3.
(b) Each State Party may put forward one candidate for any given election who need not necessarily be a national of that State Party but shall in any case be a national of a State Party.
7. No two judges may be nationals of the same State.  A person who, for the purposes of membership in the Court, could be regarded as a national of more than one State shall be deemed to be a national of the State in which that person ordinarily exercises civil and political rights.
8. (a) The States Parties shall, in the selection of judges, take into account the need, within the membership of the Court, for:
 (i) The representation of the principal legal systems of the world;
 (ii) Equitable geographical representation; and
 (iii) A fair representation of female and male judges
(b) States Parties shall also take into account the need to include judges with legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, violence against women or children.

1 comment:

Yvonne McDermott Rees said...

This is really interesting. Michael Bohlander wrote a piece a few years back where he compared the qualifications needed to be a P5 legal officer at an international criminal tribunal with the requirements to be a judge- generally, a great deal more experience and expertise was required of the former. I wonder if security of tenure (9 years, not renewable) has anything to do with current unwillingness.