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
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." Thus, there are voting requirements established which require at least six judges to be female and at least six to be male. Additionally, each regional group of the United Nations has at least two judges. If a regional group has more than sixteen states parties this leads to a minimum voting requirement of three judges from this regional group. Therefore, from the Statute's entry into force for the Maldives on 1 December 2011, all regional groups can claim a third judge.
As of August 2013, six 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 11 March 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 special election took place on 3 December 2007, to replace three judges who had resigned. The three new judges were assigned to serve the remaining portions of their predecessors' terms.
- The third ordinary election took place on 19–20 January 2009. Twenty-one individuals were nominated to fill the six vacancies. Only one incumbent judge, Fumiko Saiga, was eligible for re-election; she ran and was elected.
- Another special election took place on 18 November 2009 to replace two judges who had died and resigned respectively. Kuniko Ozaki of Japan and Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi were elected to serve until 2018.
- The fourth ordinary election took place during the 10th Session of the Assembly of States Paries from 12 to 21 December 2011. None of the six judges to be replaced were eligible for re-election.
- A special election took place in November 2013 to replace a judge who had resigned.
- The fifth ordinary election is scheduled to take place in late 2014 or early 2015 to replace the judges elected in 2006.
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.
The Presidency is the organ responsible for the proper administration of the court, except for the Office of the Prosecutor. The Presidency oversees the activities of the Registry and organises the work of the judicial divisions. It also has some responsibilities in the area of external relations, such as negotiating agreements on behalf of the court and the promoting public awareness and understanding of the institution.
The Presidency 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. The first President of the ICC was Philippe Kirsch, who served from 2003 to 2009. As of March 2012, the President is Sang-hyun Song from South Korea; Sanji Mmasenono Monageng of Botswana is First Vice-President and Cuno Tarfusser of Italy is Second Vice-President. All three were elected on 11 March 2012.
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.
As of November 2013, after the 2013 elections there are 18 full-time judges who are supplemented by three judges whose terms expired on 11 March 2012 but who continue to serve as ad litem judges for the duration of the trials that had started with them on the bench.
|Name||Country||Took office||Term End||Division
|PTC I||PTC II||TC II||TC III||TC IV||TC V(a)||TV V(b)||AC||Remark||Ref./
|Bruno Cotte||France||2007||2012||Trial||X||Ad litem judge|||
|Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra||Mali||2003||2012||Trial||X||Ad litem judge|||
|Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi||Argentina||2009||2018||Pre-Trial||X||X|
|Robert Fremr||Czech Republic||2012||2021||Trial||X||X|
|Geoffrey A. Henderson||Trinidad and Tobago||2013||2021|
|Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia||Dominican Republic||2012||2021||Pre-Trial||X|
|Hans-Peter Kaul||Germany||2003, 2006||2015||Pre-Trial||X||X|||
|Erkki Kourula||Finland||2003, 2006||2015||Appeals||X|||
|Akua Kuenyehia||Ghana||2003, 2006||2015||Appeals||X|||
|Sanji Mmasenono Monageng||Botswana||2009||2018||Appeals||X||First Vice-President|
|Howard Morrison||United Kingdom||2012||2021||Trial|
|Sang-Hyun Song||South Korea||2003, 2006||2015||Appeals||X||President|||
|Sylvia Steiner||Brazil||2003||2012||Trial||X||Ad litem judge|||
|Cuno Tarfusser||Italy||2009||2018||Pre-Trial||X||Second Vice-President|
|Anita Ušacka||Latvia||2003, 2006||2015||Appeals||X|||
|Christine van den Wyngaert||Belgium||2009||2018||Pre-Trial||X||X|
As of November 2013, 12 of the 21 judges (including ad litem) are female. The geographical representation is as follows:
|Regional group||Number of judges|
|Western European and other states||6|
|Latin American and Caribbean states||4|
|Eastern European states||3|
The Appeals Chamber consists of the whole Appeals Division whereas the Pre-Trial Chambers cover whole situations and the Trial Chambers single cases (which can consist of one or more accused).
|Appeals||Kuenyehia (Pres.), Song, Kourula, Ušacka, Monageng|||
|Trial Chamber II||Cotte (Presiding Judge), Diarra, van den Wyngaert||Katanga and Ngudjolo Chui trial (DR Congo)|||
|Trial Chamber III||Steiner (Presiding Judge), Aluoch, Ozaki||Bemba trial (Central African Rep.)|
|Trial Chamber IV||Aluoch (Presiding Judge), Fernández de Gurmendi, Eboe-Osuji||Banda and Jerbo trial (Darfur [Sudan])|
|Trial Chamber V(a)||Eboe-Osuji (Presiding Judge), Herrera Carbuccia, Fremr||Ruto and Sang trial (Kenya)|| |
|Trial Chamber V(b)||Ozaki (Presiding Judge), Fremr, Eboe-Osuji||Kenyatta trial (Kenya)|| |
|Pre-Trial Chamber I||Fernández de Gurmendi (Presiding Judge), Kaul, van den Wyngaert||Libya|||
|Pre-Trial Chamber II||Trendafilova (Presiding Judge), Kaul, Tarfusser||Uganda|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Central African Republic|
Former Trial Chambers
|Trial Chamber I||Fulford (Presiding Judge), Blattmann, Odio Benito||Lubanga trial (DR Congo)|||
|Tuiloma Neroni Slade||Samoa||2003||2006||Defeated in 2006 election.|
|Maureen Harding Clark||Ireland||2003||2006||Resigned to serve on the High Court of Ireland.|
|Claude Jorda||France||2003||2007||Resigned "for reasons of permanent ill-health".|
|Karl Hudson-Phillips||Trinidad and Tobago||2003||2007||Resigned "for personal reasons".|
|Navanethem Pillay||South Africa||2003||2008||Resigned to serve as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.|
|Philippe Kirsch||Canada||2003||2009||Not eligible for re-election. President of the Court from 2003 to 2009.|
|Georghios Pikis||Cyprus||2003||2009||Not eligible for re-election.|
|Mauro Politi||Italy||2003||2009||Not eligible for re-election.|
|Fumiko Saiga||Japan||2007, 2009||2009||Died in office.|
|Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko||Uganda||2007||2012||Not eligible for re-election.|
|René Blattmann||Bolivia||2003||2012||Not eligible for re-election in 2009, remained in office as member of Trial Chamber I.|
|Adrian Fulford||United Kingdom||2003||2012||Not eligible for re-election in 2012, remained in office as member of Trial Chamber I.|
|Elizabeth Odio Benito||Costa Rica||2003||2012||Not eligible for re-election in 2012, remained in office as member of Trial Chamber I.|
|Anthony Carmona||Trinidad and Tobago||2012||2013||Resigned to become President of Trinidad and Tobago.|
Classes of judges
In 2003, the first judges were divided into three different classes of terms: those with term ending in 2006 (and re-eligible), those with term ending in 2009 and those with term ending in 2012. This list shows to which class the different judges belong.
|Period||Class of judges with initial term ending in 2006||Class of judges with initial term ending in 2009||Class of judges with initial term ending in 2012||Period|
|2003–2006||Kaul, Kourula, Kuenyehia, Slade, Song, Ušacka||Blattmann, Jorda, Kirsch, Pikis, Pillay, Politi
Jorda resigned in 2007
Saiga elected in 2007
Pillay resigned in 2008
|Clark, Diarra, Fulford, Hudson-Phillips, Odio Benito, Steiner
Clark resigned in 2006
Hudson-Phillips resigned in 2007
Cotte, Nsereko elected in 2007
|2006–2009||Kaul, Kourula, Kuenyehia, Song, Trendafilova, Ušacka||2006–2009|
|2009–2012||Aluoch, Monageng, Saiga, (Shahabuddeen), Tarfusser, van den Wyngaert
Shahabuddeen did not take office in 2009
Saiga died in 2009
Fernandez de Gurmendi, Ozaki elected in 2009
|2012–2015||Carmona, Defensor-Santiago, Eboe-Osuji, Fremr, Herrera Carbuccia, Morrison
Carmona resigned in 2013
Henderson elected in 2013
|2015–2018||To be elected at the 13th session of the Assembly of State Parties in 2014
Will be in office 2015–2024.
|2018–2021||To be elected at the 16th session of the Assembly of State Parties in 2017
Will be in office 2018–2027.
Notes and references
- Article 36 of the Rome Statute. Accessed 28 January 2008.
- Article 41 of the Rome Statute. Accessed 2 January 2008.
- Article 46 of the Rome Statute. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- International Criminal Court. Chambers. Accessed 21 July 2007.
- Article 36, paragraph 9, of the Rome Statute provides for two circumstances under which judges may be re-elected. Firstly, the six judges who were elected to three-year terms in 2003 were eligible for re-election in 2006. Secondly, any judge elected to fill a vacancy serves the remainder of his predecessor's term; if the remainder of the term is less than three years, the judge can subsequently be re-elected to a second term. (For example, Fumiko Saiga was elected in December 2007 to serve the remainder of Claude Jorda's term. Since Jorda's term expired in March 2009, Saiga was eligible for re-election. See International Criminal Court (28 November 2007). PDF (38.6 KiB). Accessed 18 January 2008.)
- International Criminal Court (10 September 2004). PDF (77.1 KiB). Accessed 16 October 2007.
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Election of ICC and ASP Officials – Judges. Accessed 20 January 2009.
- United Nations (2003). Nominations for judges of the International Criminal Court – First election. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court. First Election – 2003. Accessed 28 January 2008.
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Judges and the Presidency. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- UN News Centre (26 January 2006). At UN, 6 judges elected to the International Criminal Court. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- United Nations Department of Public Information (26 January 2006). States Parties to the International Criminal Court statute elect six judges. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- International Criminal Court (4 December 2007). Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute elects three judges. Accessed 5 December 2007.
- International Criminal Court (2007). Election 2007. Accessed 1 September 2008.
- International Criminal Court (20 January 2009). Results of the third election of the judges of the International Criminal Court. Accessed 20 January 2009.
- International Criminal Court (2008). Election of judges 2009. Accessed 1 September 2008.
- International Criminal Court (5 December 2008). PDF. Accessed 20 January 2009.
- ICC information page on the November 2009 election of judges. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- International Criminal Court. The Presidency. Accessed 21 July 2007.
- International Criminal Court (11 March 2009). Judge Song (Republic of Korea) elected President of the International Criminal Court; Judges Diarra (Mali) and Kaul (Germany) elected First and Second Vice-Presidents respectively. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
- Article 38 of the Rome Statute. Accessed 21 July 2007.
- Judge Sang-Hyun Song re-elected President of the International Criminal Court for 2012-2015; Judges Sanji Mmasenono Monageng and Cuno Tarfusser elected First and Second Vice-President respectively. ICC press release. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- International Criminal Court (2009). The Judges. Accessed 19 March 2009.
- Judges continuing in office to complete proceedings. ICC. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Pre-Trial Division. ICC. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Trial Division. ICC. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Appeals Division. ICC. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Some judges' terms expired on 11 March 2012 but they will continue to serve as ad litem judges for the duration of trials that have already begun with them on the bench, in accordance with Article 36 (10) of the Rome Statute, which states that any judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber "shall continue in office to complete any trial or appeal the hearing of which has already commenced before that Chamber".
- Appeals Division. ICC. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Trial Division. ICC. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- ICC Presidency decides on new composition of Trial Chamber V. ICC press release. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Decision notifying the election of the Presiding Judge. Trial Chamber V(a). Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Decision notifying the election of the Presiding Judge. Trial Chamber V(b). Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Pre-Trial Division. ICC. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Decision Assigning the Situation in the Republic of Mali to Pre-Trial Chamber II. Presidency of the International Criminal Court. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- International Criminal Court (11 December 2006). Resignation of Judge Maureen Harding Clark. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- International Criminal Court (8 May 2007). Resignation of Judge Claude Jorda. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- International Criminal Court (19 March 2007). Resignation of Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- International Criminal Court (30 July 2008). Resignation of Judge Navanethem Pillay . Accessed 1 September 2008.
- International Criminal Court (24 April 2009). Passing of Judge Fumiko Saiga. Accessed 29 April 2009.
- International Criminal Court (18 February 2009). Resignation of Mr. Mohamed Shahabuddeen. Accessed 18 February 2009.