Sunday, February 14, 2021

The International Criminal Court Has a New Prosecutor

On February 12, the International Criminal Court’s member countries elected Karim Khan as prosecutor after a contentious process that initially tried to reach a decision through consensus.

Mr. Khan in a national of the United Kingdom who has extensive experience with international criminal law and procedure. He was a legal adviser in the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He also served as defense counsel on various cases at the ICC, the Yugoslav tribunal, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He currently leads the United Nations Security Council's investigation of crimes committed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.

The difficulties in the selection process for the prosecutor have led to calls for reforms. Some observers have suggested a need for a professional vetting process that allows for the collection and review of information to assess candidates’ “high moral character,” one of the requirements for the office set out in the Rome Statute, the court’s founding document. 

We wish Mr. Khan much success as he takes on this challenging role.


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