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International Criminal Court: New Judge Elected

(July 6, 2015) On June 24, 2015, during its 13th session, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), elected Dr. Raul Cano Pangalangan as a judge of the ICC. (Press Release, ICC, Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute Elects a Judge (June 24, 2015); Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (effective July 1, 2002), ICC website.)

Pangalangan is a Professor of Law and former Law Dean at the University of the Philippines, and he was a delegate from the Philippines to the 1998 Rome Conference to Establish the International Criminal Court. (Pangalangan, Raul Cano, ICC website (updated Apr. 1, 2015).) He was elected to fill the vacancy left by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s resignation and will serve the remaining years left of her term. (Rome Statute, § 37; Tetch Torres-Tupas, Sereno, Leonen Hail Pangalangan’s Election as ICC Judge, INQUIRER.NET (June 25, 2015).)

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court ever established. It tries persons accused of crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. There are 18 judges of the Court, each of whom serves a term of nine years. (Rome Statute, § 36.)

ICC 2015 Judicial Nomination Process

The nomination period for candidates ran from February 18 to March 31, 2015. Candidates were nominated solely from the Asia-Pacific Region. This region was defined for this purpose as including: Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Cambodia; Cook Islands; Cyprus; Fiji; Japan; Jordan; Maldives; the Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Nauru; Palestine; the Philippines; Republic of Korea; Samoa; Tajikistan; Timor-Leste; and Vanuatu. (Ninth Election – 2015, Coalition for the ICC website (last visited June 26, 2015).)

The three candidates nominated were Pangalangan, Dr. Ibrahim Aljazy (Jordan), and Mr. A.B.M. Khairul Haque (Bangladesh). On April 13, 2015, Haque withdrew his candidacy. (Id.) Pangalangan was elected on the second round of voting with the required two-thirds majority of the vote. (2015 – Election of a Judge – Results, ICC website (June 24, 2015).)

Prepared by Lucy Jones, Law Library of Congress Intern, under the supervision of Luis Acosta, Chief, Foreign, International, and Comparative Law Division II.