The second elections for judges to the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be held January 26th and 27th 2006, in New York. Amongst the criteria required by the Rome Statute of the ICC for the election of judges is the principle of ‘fair representation’ of women and men and specific legal expertise on violence against women.
Please take a moment and send this action letter or one of your own, to your Permanent Representative to the United Nations and your Foreign Minister and demand they vote for gender competence on the ICC and the election of women candidates to the Court. Click here for a list of emails for the UN Missions of those countries that have ratified the ICC Statute. We urge you to send letters to all States Parties.
What is at Stake ?
In 2003 during the first election of judges to the Court, seven women judges (of eighteen in total) were elected to the bench of the ICC. At the time, the elected Judges were allocated different terms on the Court by ballot process which meant six of the Judges (two women; four men) served a three-year term. This term has now been completed.
In this election, in 2006, four women and six men have been nominated for six seats on the Court. Of the candidates three are from Eastern Europe; three are from Africa; two are from Asia/Pacific; and two are from Europe.
There should be no going back on the number of women judges (7) on the ICC.
The Rome Statute requires that States Parties take certain qualities into account in the election of Judges. These are:
- The fair representation of women and men
- Equitable geographical representation
- Representation of the principal legal systems in the world (civil law; common law)
- Legal expertise on specific issues including violence against women or children.
In order for the ICC to be a mechanism for gender-inclusive justice it is important that gender competent judges are elected to the International Criminal Court. Few women judges have ever been elected to serve on international and regional judicial institutions – of the 260 judges currently serving on such institutions, only 49 are women.
On January 24th and 25th we are co-hosting along with the Coalition for the ICC, two panels for the judicial candidates. This will be the only public forum for delegates and NGOs to hear from the candidates as a group before the voting begins on January 26th.
We will provide you with an update on the election next week and may need to call on concerned organizations and individuals around the world for further assistance. Our request to you is to contact governments in the capitals and in their UN Missions in New York and demand gender competence on the Court and the election of women to the ICC.