the long process of appointing Fatou Bensouda’s successor

After a nine-year term, Gambian Fatou Bensouda will leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) in June 2021, but her successor as prosecutor has still not been identified. The 123 Member States of the Court have been trying for several months to find the candidate who will reach agreement.

as reported from The Hague, Stephanie Maupas

The election is complicated by the pandemic and the sanctions that the Trump administration has issued against the court and is expected to be held at the annual meeting of the convention states on December 17-23 in New York City.

However, nothing is ever very simple with the ICC. The states had set up a committee to select the best candidates. This committee would make it possible to depoliticize the election, but it did not happen.

At the end of June, this committee proposed diplomats and was supported by experts a list of four candidates, giving states a sense that their hand was forced because several of them seemed poorly qualified for a most complex position, while the favorites, famous figures of international justice, was eliminated.

In mid-November, therefore, the states realized their inability to reach agreement on one of the four selected candidates. They therefore decided to expand their list to ten other candidates. In the coming days, they will have to say if they are still in the race.

Considered one of the favorites, the Belgian magistrate, Serge Brammertz, has already decided to throw in the towel.

It must be said that the campaign takes place in a particularly harmful atmosphere. She is surrounded by allegations of sexual harassment and harassment in the workplace against several candidates. At the request of NGOs, states should put in place a process to ensure the “high moral standard” of the future winner.

► To read also:International Criminal Court: the legacy of Fatou Bensouda is open


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