Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - IBA welcomes election of new ICC officials


IBA welcomes election of new ICC officials

The International Bar Association (IBA) welcomes the election of Karim Khan QC as the next Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and six judges, as well as the new president, vice presidents and members of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) – the Court's management oversight and legislative body, composed of representatives of the States that have ratified and acceded to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

When Mr Khan succeeds ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on 16 June 2021 for a nine-year term, he will be the third person to hold the position at the world's first permanent international criminal court, set up as a court of last resort to investigate, prosecute and try individuals accused of the worst atrocities: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.

Mr Khan was elected after receiving 72 of 122 votes from States Parties in the first contested election held for an ICC Prosecutor. Usually, consensus is built around a candidate, failing that a candidate must secure support from a minimum of 62 of the 123 voting members of the ASP to win. One member did not vote in the second round. The voting procedures were adopted following extensive consultations held by the ASP that failed to come to consensus around a candidate.

The newly elected judges, all for a nine-year term, are Ms Althea Violet Alexis-Windsor (Trinidad and Tobago), Ms María del Socorro Flores Liera (Mexico), Ms Joanna Korner (United Kingdom), Mr Gocha Lordkipanidze (Georgia), Ms Miatta Maria Samba (Sierra Leone), and Mr Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez (Costa Rica).

Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina) was elected as ASP President for a three-year period, as were Ambassador Katerina Sequensová (Czech Republic) and Ambassador Robert Keith Rae (Canada) as ASP Vice-Presidents, along with new members of the Bureau of the ASP and its Committee on Budget and Finance.

IBA President Sternford Moyo said: ‘The IBA congratulates the newly elected leadership of the International Criminal Court. As an organization committed to upholding the rule of law, the IBA has been a longstanding supporter of the ICC and of the ideals that it embodies. We look forward to working with the Prosecutor, Court and States Parties, to assist the ICC in fulfilling its mandate to hold to account perpetrators of the most heinous crimes worldwide and to bring justice for victims.’

Mr Moyo added: ‘It is the saddest fact that our world requires such a court. But sadder still is the fact that governments in the 21st century seek to undermine it and deny justice for victims of the worst crimes perpetrated. Yet, those same governments would most certainly be outraged should the same alleged crimes be committed against their own citizens. The IBA calls on nations across the globe to support the ICC, rather than the contrary.’

As of February 2021, the ICC currently has before it nine situations under preliminary examination, 13 situations under investigation, and 23 cases at the pre-trial, trial, appeals, and reparations phases of proceedings.

During 2020, the Court underwent an Independent Expert Review by a panel of experts who have made recommendations for improvements in almost all areas of the Court’s functioning. Also in 2020, the ICC faced unprecedented political interference from the United States under the Trump Administration, which issued an Executive Order that put in place sanctions against Prosecutor Bensouda and another senior prosecution official – a move condemned by the IBA.

IBA Executive Director Dr Mark Ellis commented: ‘The ICC’s new leadership will take office at a time of great challenges for the Court and for the rule of law globally. As the third prosecutor, Mr Khan will bring the Court into its third decade, and undoubtedly will need to make difficult and principled decisions to ensure the Court’s relevance, and further unlock its latent potential and augment its credibility. But within this moment also lies immense opportunity to build on the work and bold decisions of Prosecutor Bensouda, his soon-to-be predecessor, for whom we reiterate our call for the rescinding of US Executive Order 13928, which imposed Trump-administration sanctions in retaliation for the Prosecutor opening an investigation into alleged US crimes in Afghanistan.’

Regarding the new ICC President and leadership of the ASP, Dr Ellis added: ‘Although facing constricting budgets and other urgent priorities, work must be ramped-up to keep justice and accountability high on the agendas of States Parties and to bring non-States Parties further into the fold. As the global voice of the legal profession, the IBA stands ready to support these leaders and to work alongside them.’

Kate Orlovsky, Director of the IBA ICC & ICL Programme said: ‘Civil society, including the IBA, stand ready to work with the Court and States Parties to continue to improve and strengthen the structure, working methods and outcomes of the ICC. As Prosecutor, Mr Khan will be called on to answer to victims’ demands for justice, and to ensure that all ICC investigations and cases meet the highest legal standards, as well as the highest standards of professionalism and fairness. It will also be essential for the Prosecutor and judges to give full meaning to the high moral character that was a requirement of their election. This includes taking all necessary measures to ensure a safe working environment, and zero tolerance for any form of bullying and harassment at the Court.’

Currently, Mr Khan serves as Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Da’esh /ISIL crimes (UNITAD), a position he has held since July 2018. Mr Khan has extensive experience acting for the prosecution, victims and defence in international criminal trials, including at the ICC, and is the former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association. Mr Khan has practiced as a barrister since 1992 and has been Queen’s Counsel since 2011.

The officials were all elected at the 19th Session of the ASP that took place at World Forum in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 14 to 16 December, and in resumed sessions at the United Nations in New York from 17–23 December 2020, and on 8 and 12 February 2021.

About the International Bar Association

The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organization for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organization made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

The IBA commenced the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law (ICC & ICL) Programme in 2005. The Programme monitors issues related to fairness and equality of arms at the ICC and other Hague-based war crimes tribunals, and encourages the legal community to engage with the work of these courts. The IBA’s work includes thematic legal analysis of proceedings, and ad hoc evaluations of legal, administrative and institutional issues which could potentially affect the rights of defendants, the impartiality of proceedings and the development of international justice.

The Programme also acts as the interface between the Courts and the global legal community. As such, special focus is placed on monitoring emerging issues of particular relevance to lawyers and collaborating with key partners on specific activities to increase engagement of the legal community on ICC and ICL issues.

Based in The Hague, the IBA ICC & ICL Programme consults and interacts with court officials, civil society organizations, academics and international lawyers.

Date Published: Friday March 5, 2021


International Bar Association


IBA welcomes election of new ICC officials

The International Bar Association (IBA) welcomes the election of Karim Khan QC as the next Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and six judges, as well as the new president, vice presidents and members of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) – the Court's management oversight and legislative body, composed of representatives of the States that have ratified and acceded to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

‘Sobering’ COVID survey portends exodus from profession

Lawyers amid the COVID-19 pandemic feel overwhelmed by the pressures of their work — especially women with children and lawyers of color — with many considering leaving the legal profession, according to a new survey by the American Bar Association.

Governor DeWine announces key staff changes

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced key staff changes within his administration.

PUCO issues compliance orders to retail energy suppliers, gas pipeline safety violations

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently issued three separate compliance orders related to retail energy providers, and gas pipeline safety violations. The compliance actions will result in customer refunds and more than $530,000 in forfeitures.

ABA releases first Model Diversity Survey Report on law firm equity and inclusion

The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession recently released its 2020 ABA Model Diversity Survey Report, the first report on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in law firm practice.

Free OSU course devised as tool for businesses to manage virus

The Ohio State University has come up with its contribution to efforts to reopen businesses and get the economy humming again after nearly a year of pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictive health directives.

Hearings begin on legislation to equalize school funding

A bipartisan bill to replace the state’s long-time broken, school-funding system "a near-identical plan to legislation from the last session of the Ohio Legislature" recently landed its first hearing before members of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Japanese CEO and employees charged in scheme to defraud U.S. Navy and dump wastewater in ocean

Three Japanese nationals, including the president and chief executive officer of Yokohama, Japan-based Kanto Kosan Co. Ltd. (Kanto Kosan) were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday in connection with an alleged long-running scheme to defraud the U.S. Navy and pollute Japanese waters by dumping contaminated water removed from U.S. Navy ships into the ocean.

Dietary supplement executive sentenced in scheme to fraudulently sell popular dietary supplements

A federal court in Texas sentenced a former dietary supplement company executive to prison for his role in fraudulently selling popular workout supplements, the Justice Department announced recently.

5 ways to reduce college costs while in high school

Focused on your children’s future, you’ve been saving for their higher education in Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage. Your family can take additional steps to reduce higher education expenses before your student graduates high school. In fact, your children can even earn college credits while still in high school.

Can a government worker get fired over a Facebook post?

Can people who work in the public sector exercise their First Amendment rights at work? Can they lose their job because of what they post on social media?

Ohio Lake Erie Commission seeking submissions for 2021 Life on Lake Erie photo contest

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) is seeking submissions for the 29th Annual Life on Lake Erie photo contest. The contest is an opportunity for amateur photographers to showcase their talent for photographing one of Ohio’s most valuable natural resources – Lake Erie.

ABA president defends rule of law, reviews accomplishments

House introduces president-elect nominee

New projects expected to create more than $51 million in investments

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced the approval of assistance for five projects set to create 1,382 new jobs and retain 978 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $80 million in new payroll and spur more than $51million in investments across Ohio.

6 common tax myths, debunked

(BPT) As you look ahead to doing your taxes this year, there are a number of myths you may think are true for the 2020 tax year. If so, you are not alone - tax myths and misinformation are more common than you may think. And unfortunately, these myths can be costly if they lead to mistakes on your taxes.

New prosecutorial tool promises better outcomes for racial justice, fairness

Some prosecutors around the country are starting to use reams of data to track their performance and to ensure that justice is being equally served in all communities, with the aim of providing a clearer picture of their work and easing tensions in their communities.

Purported 501(c)(4) admits to being used to conceal corrupt payments related to passage of legislation

An organization charged as part of a public corruption racketeering conspiracy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court recently.

Supreme Court of Ohio considers where online school should have filed its appeal

The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday heard two oral arguments, including one asking in which court was it proper for online school to appeal an order to refund $60 million.

10 tips to support small businesses

(BPT) The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on small businesses. Whether it's a local eatery, service provider, retail store or another type of business, when you shop small, you're supporting a real person who is striving to keep his or her entrepreneurial dream alive.

Supreme Court of Ohio considers if a postrelease control sentence is vacated when the state doesn’t appeal a trial court error

The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday heard three oral arguments, including one asking if the failure of the State to correct an improper postrelease control sentence vacates the postrelease control sentence.