Over 40 NGOs Urge Reform Action on ICC Member States
The Open Society Justice Initiative has joined over 40 civil society organizations from around the world in an open letter to the member states of the International Criminal Court (ICC), now meeting in The Hague, urging them to take concrete steps towards reforming and strengthening the Court’s performance.
In an open letter to the annual Assembly of States Parties, the civil society groups urge ICC member states to:
1) Approve the establishment of an appropriately funded and independent group of experts to undertake a comprehensive review of the ICC’s operations and ensure that its work incorporates the views of civil society groups, including those based in countries where the ICC is active. When it is released next year, the findings and recommendations of this Independent Expert Review should also be made public so that civil society and other stakeholders can provide comments.
2) Adopt a resolution that promises to enhance the procedure for the nomination and election of ICC judges, and ensure a more thorough, rigorous, and timely review of all candidates by the Court’s Advisory Committee on judicial appointments. The proposed resolution also urges the member states to ensure that the selection of judicial candidates at a national level is conducted to the highest possible standards.
The letter notes that “upcoming elections of the next prosecutor and six new judges in 2020 also provide a real opportunity for meaningful change.”
It concludes by urging states parties “to make the most of the opportunities presented during this Assembly session to strengthen procedures for the election and nomination of judges and ensure a truly independent expert review is put in place, so that the important work that lies ahead can begin.”
Raising the Bar: Improving the Nomination and Election of Judges to the International Criminal Court
There are currently significant flaws in the way that the member states of the International Criminal Court identify and elect judges to the court, leading to the election of less-qualified candidates, and a bench dominated by a handful of states.
Excellence, not Politics, should Choose the Judges at the ICC
Nominations and elections of judicial candidates at the International Criminal Court often overlook merit-based considerations in favor of political interests. It's time for reform.
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