15 of 18 judges elected to International Criminal Court

15 of 18 judges elected to International Criminal Court

At United Nations headquarters today, the countries taking part in the organizing assembly for the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, elected four more of the required 18 judges who will be the first to serve on that new judicial body.

The first resumed session of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which began Monday, has now elected 15 judges out of a pool of 43 candidates to the tribunal.

The three judges elected by secret ballot this morning were Adrian Fulford of the United Kingdom, Hans-Peter Kaul of Germany and Anita Usacka of Latvia. Ms. Usacka joins six other women already elected. In the afternoon session, Rene Blattmann of Bolivia was elected.

They join Georghios M. Pikis of Cyprus, Philippe Kirsch of Canada and Erkki Kourula of Finland, who were elected yesterday morning.

Karl Hudson-Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago, Maureen Harding Clark of Ireland, Fatoumata Dembele Diarra of Mali, Sang-hyun Song of the Republic of Korea, Sylvia Helena de Figueiredo Steiner of Brazil, Akua Kuenyehia of Ghana, Elizabeth Odio Benito of Costa Rica, and Navanethem Pillay of South Africa were all elected earlier.

All the judges elected this week will be sworn in when the Court is inaugurated in The Hague on 11 March.

The Court is expected to be operational by the end of 2003 and will be the world's only permanent tribunal for prosecuting individuals responsible for war crimes, including genocide, and crimes against humanity, and, eventually, the crime of aggression. The Court will have jurisdiction only over crimes committed after 1 July 2002, when the Statute entered into force.