Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Follow Us: Facebook Twitter
Browse by Region
map Americas Africa Asia and Pacific Europe Middle East and North Africa
The Prosecutor
The Prosecutor
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo being sworn in, in June 2003. Credit: Reporters
The term of the first ICC Prosecutor - Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo (Argentina) – ended in June 2012. ICC Prosecutors are elected for nine-year terms and cannot be re-elected. Ms. Fatou Bensouda took office on June 15, 2012 as the second ICC Prosecutor after being elected by consensus during the 10th session of the Assembly of States Parties in December 2011.

The election of the ICC prosecutor is a crucial decision, impacting almost every aspect of the ICC for years to come. As the new Prosecutor, Ms. Bensouda takes responsibility for all ongoing and future ICC investigations.These responsibilities include the cases currently before the ICC, as well as the numerous preliminary examinations undertaken in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Election Process

In part due to Coalition advocacy, in 2010 the ASP Bureau established a Search Committee for the Prosecutor of the ICC. The Search Committee was given a mandate to recommend a minimum of three suitable candidates to the Bureau for consideration. The Coalition encouraged state and non-state actors to work with and support the mandate of the Search Committee in its endeavors to seek out and identify candidates for the Prosecutor post throughout much of 2011.

The Coalition sought input from national, regional, and international member NGOs in an effort to identify the best candidates from their respective regions and to provide transparent and accurate information regarding the qualifications and professional background of candidates.

On 25 October 2011, the Search Committee issued a report outlining its efforts to identify suitable candidates. The report recommended the following four individuals for the position:
Fatou B. Bensouda (The Gambia): the Deputy Prosecutor (Prosecutions) of the ICC.
Andrew T. Cayley (United Kingdom): the International Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Mohamed Chande Othman (Tanzania): the Chief Justice of Tanzania.
Robert Petit (Canada): Counsel to the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Sections of the Department of Justice, Canada.
The full report is available here.

Each of the 4 candidates gave a presentation to the New York Working Group of the Assembly of States Parties and met with NGO representatives in the CICC New York offices in order to allow for more elaborate discussions.

On 1 December 2011, the President of the ASP announced that an informal agreement had been reached to nominate Ms. Fatou Bensouda as the consensus candidate for election as the next Prosecutor. This announcement followed informal consultations among ICC states parties to identify one candidate for formal nomination and election by consensus during the 10th ASP session.

Ms. Fatou Bensouda was formally elected by consensus on 12 December 2011 and was sworn-in on 15 June 2012.

More information on the selection and election of the next Prosecutor and the work of the CICC in this regard can be found in the CICC Elections Team Prosecutor Q and A.

More on the Coalition’s Campaign on ICC Elections

For more information on the election of the Prosecutor, please contact Tobias Hanson at [email protected] .

For more information on the Search Committee and the contact details of the Search Committee for expressions of interest please see the Note Verbal ICC-ASP/10/S/06 and Press Release dated 8 February 2011 from the ASP in the links below.
ICC Statements and Reports
Author Date and Title
26 Jan 2012
ICC Vacancy for the Position of ICC Deputy Prosecutor—Deadline 31 March 2012
26 Jan 2012
ICC Vacancy for the Position of ICC Deputy Prosecutor – Deadline 31 March 2012
09 Dec 2011
Secretariat Note on the Election of the Prosecutor
01 Dec 2011
Consensus candidate for next ICC Prosecutor
23 Nov 2011
Statement made by President of the Assembly of States Parties, Amb. Christian Wenaweser, on consultations to identify the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
25 Oct 2011
Press release on the report of the Search Committee for Prosecutor