Washington D.C. and The Hague, November 22nd, 2017. – At its sixteenth session, taking place in New York in December 2017, the Assembly of States Parties will elect six new ICC judges (out of 18) to replace the judges whose terms will end in 2018. The current ICC bench is composed of 12 men and 6 women, holding the lowest representation of women in the ICC’s history.
According to article 36(8)(a)(iii) of the Rome Statute, States Parties “shall, in the selection of judges, take into account the need, within the membership of the Court, for […] A fair representation of female and male judges”.
12 candidates have been nominated for this judicial election, 9 of which are women. In the best case scenario, even if all six position go to women, the ICC’s bench will be composed of 11 men and 7 female judges for the next three years, which still falls short of achieving gender parity.
While a Minimum Voting Requirement of five female judges is in place for this upcoming election, GQUAL calls on States Parties to vote for six women judges,considering the current – and future – gender imbalance in the ICC bench. The qualification of judges being of primary importance, GQUAL also notes that the report issued on October 10th 2017 by the Assembly of States Parties’ Advisory Committee on Nominations of judges to the ICC found six female candidates to be “particularly well qualified” for appointment as judges. The other candidates, including the three male candidates were considered “formally qualified” by the Committee.
Considering the above, States have a special duty to ensure that the ICC’s composition reflects not only geographical but also gender diversity. International justice is served best, and is more legitimate and effective when the bodies that impart it combine, in equal terms, the perspectives of qualified, independent, and diverse people.
GQUAL is a global campaign to achieve gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies. On October, 2017 the campaign adopted an Action Plan that has been endorsed by State representatives, international judges, Bar Associations, and civil society. In line with the call to States in this statement, the document serves as a road map and a call for action to motivate, inspire and inform all the stakeholders involved in pursuing gender parity across international bodies.