#ElectTheBest: ICC Prosecutor position put to the vote

9 Feb, 2021 | Press Releases

On Monday, 8 February, the President of the International Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties announced that in light of the failure to reach consensus around a candidate for ICC Prosecutor, the States Parties will now have to elect the next Prosecutor through a secret ballot. ASP President Kwon therefore extended the nominations period to Wednesday, 10 February 2021 at 12h00 EST.

NPWJ considers this latest development to be further evidence that the process established by the ASP to guarantee greater transparency and ensure that competency rather than vote-trading would guide the selection of the next ICC Prosecutor has failed to do so. If anything, the process now seems further mired in opacity and politics, with a side helping of gossip and innuendo surrounding the “high moral character” requirement. It is also worth noting that of the three “front-runners”, any of whom would make for an excellent ICC Prosecutor, two of those candidates did not make the short list of the CEP, further underscoring questions surrounding the effectiveness of that process.

Now that States have begun nominating their candidates – with Ireland, Spain and the UK respectively nominating the candidates who are in the top three positions – NPWJ calls on States to think quickly about whether there are other candidates who might also fit the bill and nominate them before tomorrow’s deadline. 

Once the dust on this election settles, NPWJ also urges States Parties to conduct a full and thorough “lessons learned” from this election experience, also involving civil society, to review of what went wrong and what could be improved for the next Prosecutor elections in 9 years.