New York, Dec 4 2007 1:00PM
Three judges have been elected to fill vacancies on the 18-member International Criminal Court (ICC) after four rounds of voting at United Nations Headquarters in New York during the current session of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC.
Bruno Cotte of France, Uganda’s Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko and Fumiko Saiga of Japan were chosen in secret balloting that began last Friday and concluded yesterday, according to a media statement issued by the ICC today.
The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Mr. Cotte and Ms. Saiga were chosen after achieving the necessary two-thirds majority in the first round of balloting on Friday while Mr. Nsereko was elected in the fourth round yesterday. Jean Angela Permanand of Trinidad and Tobago and Graciela Dixon of Panama stood unsuccessfully as candidates.
After a drawing of lots yesterday, Ms. Saiga was selected to serve the remainder of Judge Claude Jorda’s term in office, which will end on 10 March 2009. The terms of Mr. Cotte and Mr. Nsereko will finish on 10 March 2012.
The elections were held to fulfil vacancies caused by resignations over the past year of Judge Maureen Harding Clark of Ireland, Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago and Judge Jorda. No two judges of the same nationality may sit on the Court.
Candidates are required to have “established competence” in criminal law and procedures or in areas of international law, such as human rights law and humanitarian law, and be fluent in one of the Court’s two working languages, English and French.
A swearing-in ceremony for the new judges on the ICC, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, is tentatively scheduled for 17 January next year.
The Assembly of States Parties is the ICC’s management, oversight and legislative body, and is composed of representatives of the 105 States that have either ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute which established the Court.
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