Joint Call on Search for Next ICC Prosecutor

NEW YORK—The Open Society Justice Initiative and five other groups have set out criteria that should shape the search for a successor for Juan Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, whose term of office expires next year.

In a public letter to the search committee tasked with identifying candidates, the groups note that "the search for a new Prosecutor comes at a critical juncture of the ICC’s institutional development."

It continues: "The ICC’s emergence as an important entity on the international stage—most recently demonstrated by the UN Security Council’s referral to the court of the situation in Libya—means that the acts of its principals, especially the Prosecutor, will likely be even more closely scrutinized and subject to criticism, both legitimate and unjustified."

The Rome Statute which established the ICC requires the Prosecutor to "have high moral character, be highly competent in and have extensive practical experience in the prosecution or trial of criminal cases.”

The letter says the candidate should also have:

  • demonstrated experience of professional excellence in complex criminal cases
  • demonstrated ability to act with independence and impartiality in the exercise of professional duties
  • a proven track-record of professional excellence in institutional management
  • demonstrated experience in working with other bodies or agencies to effectively
  • demonstrated experience in communicating effectively to a wide variety of constituencies

The letter is signed by the Open Society Justice Initiative, Human Rights Watch, Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme, International Crisis Group, the Institute for Security Studies and the International Center for Transitional Justice. The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) also participated actively in preparing this letter.