States elect two Deputy Prosecutors and conclude ASP20 with CICC closing statement

Assembly of States Parties 2021 

10 December 2021

Deputy Prosecutor Election

On Friday 10 December, elections were held to elect two deputy prosecutors of the ICC. In advance of this election, Prosecutor Karim Khan submitted a shortlist of six candidates

As States were not able to select the next ICC Prosecutor by consensus, the Assembly proceeded towards elections by secret ballot.  

With 123 States Parties to the Rome Statute, the deputy prosecutors are to be elected with an absolute majority of the voting members of the Assembly of States Parties, 62.  

States in arrears in payment of financial contributions to the Court's budget cannot vote at ASP sessions. At this session, the Central African Republic (CAR) requested for an exception from the loss of voting rights. Antigua, Comoros, Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Suriname, Venezuela & Zambia did not request an exemption and thus were ineligible to vote. 

States voted for one candidate from each list per round, starting with one candidate from list B.During the first round, no candidate obtained the absolute majority of the 123 States Parties. No candidate from List B was elected.  

89 States Parties voted. The following votes were received:   

  • Mr. Mame Mandiaye NIANG: 52 
  • Ms. Claudia PAZ Y PAZ BAILEY: 11 
  • Mr. Alex WHITING: 26 


In the second round of voting, once again, no candidate was elected. 

90 States Parties voted. The following votes were received: 

  • Mr. Mame Mandiaye NIANG: 58 
  • Ms. Claudia PAZ Y PAZ BAILEY: 7 
  • Mr. Alex WHITING: 25 


In the third round of voting, Mr. Mame Mandiaye Niang was elected Deputy Prosecutor. 

90 States Parties voted. The following votes were received: 

  • Mr. Mame Mandiaye NIANG: 67 
  • Ms. Claudia PAZ Y PAZ BAILEY: 5 
  • Mr. Alex WHITING: 18 

In the afternoon, the Assembly continued with the election of a deputy prosecutor from List A, via secret ballot.  During the first round, Ms. Nazhat Shameen Khan obtained the absolute majority of the 123 States Parties with 62 votes.  

90 States Parties voted. The following votes were received: 

  • Ms. Sylvia DOMARADZKI: 3 
  • Ms. Nazhat Shameen KHAN: 62 
  • Ms. Paolina MASSIDDA: 25 

All results can be found on the ASP Website

The Coalition, including through its elections team, along with many individual member organizations, has consistently called on states to nominate and elect only the most highly qualified individuals as ICC officials through fair, transparent and merit-based processes. While the Coalition does not endorse or oppose any individual candidates, it strongly opposes reciprocal political agreements (“vote-trading”) in all ICC and ASP elections.  

Closing Plenary

The final plenary and closing session was moved up to Friday afternoon, instead of Saturday as originally scheduled. States met to consider and adopt the Report of the Credentials Committee and the Report of the ASP session, before closing the 20th session of the Assembly of States Parties. 

The Coalition for the ICC delivered a statement before the formal closure of the session, highlighting the many challenges faced by civil society in participating at ASP20, and recalling the essential role played by civil society and human rights defenders in all aspects of the Rome Statute system. Acting Convenor Ms Melinda Reed, who delivered the statement via pre-recorded video, called on the Assembly to continue to defend and protect human rights defenders who are targeted because of their work to advance justice. 

She reiterated the centrality of victims and affected communities in the Court’s work. The statement concluded by underscoring the Coalition’s commitment to safeguard the Court’s mandate and promise of justice for victims, and realize a fair, effective, and independent ICC. 

Before closing the session, ASP President Fernandez expressed her appreciation for a successful session, and expressed her hope that in the next Assembly, we will have more representatives of civil society.  

The 21st session of the ASP is scheduled be held in The Hague from 5 – 10 December 2022. 

Side Events

The final day of ASP20 saw the following side-events: 

  • The Crimes against migrants and refugees in the context of the ICC Libya investigation, hosted by European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH),  Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), the Netherlands 
  • Youth & Women looking for Justice in the MENA region, hosted by Justice Call, Women's Regional Network on Prevention (WRNP), UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect 
  • Reforming national nomination procedures for ICC judicial candidates: from the IER report to action by the ASP, hosted by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), Switzerland 

Other resources 

Visit our webpage on the Assembly of States Parties 2021 to read previous ASP20 daily summaries, recommendations from civil society and other ASP20 resources. Check out the following links regularly for updates:    

Twitter @ngos4justice    

Coalition letter to ICC States Parties on ASP20    

Schedule of NGO side-events    

CICC Elections Team Paper on a Permanent Vetting Mechanism