Raising the Bar: Improving the Nomination and Election of Judges to the International Criminal Court
Seventeen years after its founding, the International Criminal Court is struggling to live up to its promise, dogged by delays, troubled prosecutions, and a string of controversial judicial decisions. Reform is needed if the Court is to fulfill its potential.
Raising the Bar seeks to contribute to ICC reform efforts by focusing on the process through which ICC judges are nominated and elected. The report first looks at how judges are nominated at the national level, including a detailed examination of how 10 representative States Parties conduct nominations. It finds that, too often, states lack established, transparent processes, and focus more on personal connections than professional merit when nominating candidates. The report further confirms a pattern of vote trading among countries and regional blocs, as well as political campaigning, which can result in the election of less-qualified candidates and a bench dominated by a handful of states. Finally, Raising the Bar urges reforms to the role and mandate of the Advisory Committee on Nominations of Judges, which has not performed as it should.
Based on interviews with dozens of current and former ICC judges and staff, Raising the Bar makes a compelling case that the Court’s judicial selection process needs to be reformed. The report also offers simple, practicable recommendations that can improve the nomination and election of ICC judges and, ultimately, the Court’s performance and effectiveness.
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