Advocacy update

Justice Initiative Says Nominees for ICC Prosecutor Need Additional Vetting

Open Letter to the Bureau of the ICC Assembly of States Parties Download the two-page document. 2 Pages, 164.18 Kb, PDF Download
September 11, 2020
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Today, the Open Society Justice Initiative and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice submitted an open letter to the Bureau of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of States Parties, asking for additional, robust vetting of all candidates nominated for the ICC’s next prosecutor.

In July 2020, the Committee for the Election of the Prosecutor narrowed a longlist of 14 candidates to: Morris A. Anyah (Nigeria), Fergal Gaynor (Ireland), Susan Okalany (Uganda), and Richard Roy (Canada).

While the search committee conducted a background check and security clearance of the longlisted candidates earlier this year, today’s letter calls on the Bureau to authorize additional vetting measures for any candidates who might be considered for election, including:

  • conducting reputational interviews, including collecting views from current and former colleagues, supervisors, subordinates, and others who have interacted with the candidates in different capacities;
  • carrying out an independence check and a government exposure check;
  • investigating any identifying “red flags,” including any allegations of workplace misconduct; and
  • pursuing responses from all national criminal record offices and any other information available from international organizations.

Fair, transparent, and professionally handled vetting is a common practice among national and other government appointments, but not for top positions at the ICC.

In December 2020, the ICC’s 123 member states will vote on and elect the new prosecutor, who will be elected for a nine-year, non-renewable term.

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