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Six New Judges Elected to the ICC

In Uncategorized by Robin

On 19-20 January 2009, the Assembly of States Parties met in New York to elect six Judges to the bench of the International Criminal Court. In the fall of 2008 and January 2009, the Women’s Initiatives compiled a dossier on all of the 21 candidates for judicial posts, and distributed the dossier at meetings of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP). The dossier provides an overview of the nominations by region and gender, and also sets out in detail the candidates’ academic achievements, professional expertise, expertise on sexual violence, women’s human rights and victims’ rights, and their affiliations and honours. Information for the dossier is drawn from curricula vitae of the judicial applicants, the statements and notes verbales from their respective States and additional online research.

The six judges ultimately elected on 19 and 20 January 2009 were:

  • Joyce ALUOCH (Kenya)
  • Sanji Mmasenono MONAGENG (Botswana)
  • Fumiko SAIGA (Japan)
  • Mohamed SHAHABUDDEEN (Guyana)*
  • Cuno TARFUSSER (Italy)
  • Christine VAN DEN WYNGAERT (Belgium)

The Rome Statute requires the fair representation of male and female judges, and geographical equity in the election of Judges to the ICC. Once the newly elected Judges take office, women, will for the first time, be in the majority of the Judges serving on the bench of the International Criminal Court, with 10 out of 18 Judges being women. Geographically, the largest number of judges on the ICC are from Western Europe and Other States with six judges, followed by the African group, with five judges, the group of Latin American and Caribbean states, with three judges, and the Eastern European and Asian states, with two judges each.

Of the 316 judges currently sitting on international and regional judicial bodies, including the ICC, only 72 are women, according to a survey conducted this month by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. ‘Given the low numbers of women serving as judges in most domestic jurisdictions and on international and regional judicial institutions, the results of this election show that when gender and geographical representation are mandated, it is an effective strategy for changing male domination on the bench’ said Brigid Inder, Executive Director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice.

‘Most domestic judiciaries continue to be dominated by men with relatively few women appointed to high courts or to the Supreme Court. The ICC is forging a new model for greater gender and geographical diversity on the bench’ said Inder.

* Judge Shahabuddeen submitted his resignation from the ICC for personal reasons on 16 February 2009. The ASP accepted his resignation, and will fix a date and venue for the election to fill this vacancy.

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