The past week has been an eventful one at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Here are some additional updates on what has been going on at the Hague tribunal, just as it gears up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its founding treaty, the Rome Statute:
- On Friday, March 9, six new ICC judges were sworn in. The new judges are: Luz del Carmen Ibañez Carranza (Peru), Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda), Tomoko Akane (Japan), Reine Alapini-Gansou (Benin), Kimberly Prost (Canada) and Rosario Salvatore Aitala (Italy). Notably, five of the six are women, and two are from African countries.
- On Sunday, March 11, the Court elected Nigerian Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji as its new president. He takes over the position from Argentinian Judge Silvia Fernàndez, and will serve a three-year term. Judge Robert Femr of Czech Republic and Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France were elected as the First and Second Vice Presidents, respectively. According to his bio on the ICC website, Judge Eboe-Osuju has served on the ICC for nine years. Prior to joining the ICC, he served as the Legal Advisor to the UN Commission for Human Rights and as a legal expert to Nigeria’s delegation to the ICC-ASP Special Working Group on the Definition of the Crime of Aggressio
The election of Judge Eboe-Osuju, as well as the swearing in of Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa and Judge Reine Alapini-Gansou is particularly important in the context of accusations from some of its members that the ICC is biased against Africans. The election of an African president and African judges, however, is unlikely to resolve the Court’s crisis of legitimacy on its own.