Groups Urge State Parties to ICC to Follow Transparent Process for Electing New Prosecutor
Today, the Open Society Justice Initiative co-signed a letter with more than two dozen organizations urging state parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to adhere to the existing, agreed-upon process for electing the next ICC prosecutor. In particular, the groups encourage states to refrain from nominating candidates not included in the shortlist released by the Committee for the Election of the Prosecutor on June 30, 2020.
At this stage in the election process, the nomination of candidates from outside the short list would either exempt these individuals from the same independent, reasoned scrutiny from the search committee applied to short-listed candidates, or include individuals who have already failed to meet the standards of the committee. This practice would not only go against the Terms of Reference adopted by the Assembly of States Parties’ Bureau, but also contribute to an election process that is less transparent, fair, and free from political interference.
The election of a new prosecutor, who will serve a nine-year, non-renewable term, is scheduled to take place in December 2020. In order to produce the four-candidate short list released last month, the committee, along with an independent expert panel appointed by state parties, carried out a rigorous and transparent process to evaluate candidates. This included the unprecedented step of conducting a reference check and security screening of all longlisted candidates.
Following the release of the shortlist, the Justice Initiative has also requested that the ICC ensure that the next prosecutor demonstrate “high moral character”, which is a key requirement for the position, and which should entail a history free from sexual misconduct. Additionally, the Justice Initiative encourages the ICC to take further actions to institutionalize vetting processes for future ICC elections that include in-depth background checks and interviews with references who can attest to past professional behavior.
List of signatories in attached joint statement last updated July 24, 2020.
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