ICC – Bensouda’s follow-up underway

After a few months of crossing, the 123 member states of the court are still looking for a suitable candidate.

A few weeks from now, the staff is expected to change hands at the helm of the International Criminal Court (ICC). While outgoing Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is already on the way to the end of her term, there is fierce debate among member states over who would be her successor.

To facilitate the procedure, a committee was formed to select the best candidate from the more than 150 files deposited. Although the committee managed to put the list on six candidates after days of brainstorming, they could not reach a consensus on a final candidate. As the coronavirus does not allow for further dialogue, member states agreed to plan the election of the new prosecutor at the annual meeting of the member states to be held from 17 to 23 December 2020.

While waiting for the annual meeting, speculation abounds, although the names of the candidates have not yet been announced. The third judge serving in this capacity will certainly have his or her hands full over the nine-year term, which begins on June 15, 2021.

The official final shortlist will be announced during the month of June by the expert panel that will assess the applications.

An implicit rule effectively requires that the incoming prosecutor be from a different region of the world than the outgoing one. After the unpredictable tenure of Luis Moreno Ocampo (2003-2012), an Argentine prosecutor with much baggage whose legacy, almost a decade after his departure, the image of the ICC continued and the discreet Fatou Bensouda followed. , who has been given the delicate task of rectifying between the court and the continent of Africa (and these attempts were not exactly successful), it is only logical that a European should take the next post.

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