Erkki Kourula

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Erkki Kourula
Erkki Kourula.jpg
Judge of the International Criminal Court
In office
In office
Personal details
Born 1948 (age 68–69)
Nationality Finnish
Alma mater

Erkki Kourula (born 1948) is a Finnish judge who currently serves as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC),[1] which was established by treaty and began in July 2002.[2] The first election of judges to the court was held in 2003,[3] when Judge Kourula was elected for an initial term of three years.[1] He was re-elected in 2006 for a further nine-year term.[1] He was elected from List B, the list of judges with specific experience and knowledge of international law. List A consists of judges who have experience in criminal law.[1] At the ICC, Judge Kourula is a member of the appeals division, a position he has held since his election to the court.[1] He is the first Finn to be elected as an International Criminal Court judge.[3]

Judge Kourula holds a degree in law from the University of Helsinki and a doctorate in international law from the University of Oxford.[4] In 1979, he was appointed as a judge of first instance in Finland.[4] Between 1982 and 1983, he was a professor of international law at the University of Lapland and he later worked in various roles within the Finnish government, including as the director-general of legal affairs in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, as ambassador to the Council of Europe, and as legal advisor at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, where he monitored the establishment of international tribunals to investigate allegations of war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.[5] He was also the head of the Finnish delegation to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, where the formation of the ICC was initially approved.[1]

He is married to Dr. Pirkko Kourula and they have two children.[4] He speaks Finnish, English, French, Russian, Swedish and German.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Judge Erkki Kourula biography, International Criminal Court, archived from the original on March 4, 2012, retrieved February 20, 2012 
  2. ^ "International Criminal Court" The New York Times, "Times Topics", retrieved February 20, 2012
  3. ^ a b Election of the judges of the International Criminal Court, United Nations Treaty Collection, retrieved February 20, 2012 
  4. ^ a b c d Curriculum Vitae - Dr Erkki Kourula (PDF) (in French), International Criminal Court, retrieved February 20, 2012 
  5. ^ Director General Erkki Kourula elected as judge for the International Criminal Court, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, retrieved February 20, 2012