Fatou Bensouda, The Next Prosecutor of the ICC
It’s official — or almost is, to be completely accurate. Mark Kersten first reported the news at Justice in Conflict, and a Reuters story has now confirmed it. On December 12, Fatou Bensouda will become the next ICC Prosecutor:
An informal meeting of ICC members will be held in New York on Thursday to discuss the appointment, said Liechtenstein’s U.N. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute that set up the court.
“I will recommend to the meeting that, based on my consultations, we go forward with a single candidate, Fatou Bensouda,” Wenaweser told Reuters by telephone.
The appointment will be made at a formal session of the 118-nation ASP in New York on December 12, Wenaweser said.
Readers already know that I think Bensouda will make a superb Prosecutor. I do want to take (mild) issue with Mark’s claim that “[h]er selection would thus appear to confirm the desire among states parties to select someone who will be more of a ‘secretary’ than a ‘general’ – a prosecutor who won’t ruffle as many feathers.” I think it’s true that Bensouda will not make headlines for all the wrong reasons and will avoid needlessly alienating governments and NGOs (and everyone else). But I think it’s wrong to suggest (and Mark will no doubt correct me if I’m reading him wrong) that Bensouda will avoid taking on powerful interests to avoid controversy; from what I know about her, she’ll do what she believes is right no matter how many feathers get ruffled. So if states think they are getting a shrinking violet, they’re bound for serious disappointment.
Congratulations to Fatou Bensouda. And more importantly, congratulations to the ICC.