Director Klaus Rackwitz participated in the Online Roundtable Discussion ‘The ICC Prosecutor Selection Process’ on 29.03.2021


The Center for International Law and Policy in Africa (CILPA), with the co-sponsorship of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, held a roundtable discussion regarding the selection process for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The event took place via Zoom on 29 March 2021.

The process of the selection and presentation of candidates for the position of the ICC Prosecutor has received a wide range of comments. Concerns had been expressed regarding the shortlist of four candidates, which was presented in July 2020. Allegations included, inter alia, that some of these candidates had insufficient international prosecution experience, that the list omitted ‘big names’ and that the candidates had not been properly vetted for the high moral character requirement under Article 42(3) of the Rome Statute. Despite numerous activities by the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and the presentation of additional five candidates, no consensus on one of the applicants could be found among States Parties in advance. The third Prosecutor of the ICC was elected in the second ballot by absolute majority on 12 February 2021.

Opening statements were given by Charles C. Jalloh, CILPA and formerly Chair of the ICC Panel of Experts on the Election of the Prosecutor, and Klaus Rackwitz, Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy.

Four distinguished panellists discussed perspectives on the ICC Prosecutor search and lessons learned for future processes.

  • Angela Mudukuti, Open Society Justice Initiative
  • Allan Ngari, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
  • Sabine Nölke, formerly Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands and Chair of the ICC Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor
  • Owiso Owiso, University of Luxembourg

The roundtable assessed the ICC prosecutor selection process. Panellists discuss the recent search as well as how the ASP might strengthen future competency-based searches for ICC principals. Important issues were raised, among them the vetting process and its challenges, the politization of elections of ICC officials, the importance of consensus and the limited number of candidates from some of the geographical regions.