Prosecutor Election

International Criminal Court Prosecutors are elected for nine-year terms by the Assembly of States Parties and cannot be re-elected.

Ms. Fatou Bensouda took office on 15 June 2012 as the second ICC Prosecutor, after being elected by consensus during the 10th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in December 2011. Her term will run until 15 June 2021.

At the 19th ASP session, end of 2020, the third Prosecutor of the ICC will be elected. The election of the ICC prosecutor is a crucial decision, impacting almost every aspect of the ICC. While State Parties directly elect the candidate of their choice, usually by acclamation, the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor and the panel of experts are essential to ensure and organize independent and fair elections. 


In part due to Coalition advocacy, the ASP Bureau established a Search Committee for the position of the Prosecutor of the ICC in 2010. This body, comprised of one representative per regional group, was given a mandate to “facilitate the nomination and election, by consensus, of the next Prosecutor.” In fulfilling this function, it is to produce a shortlist of at least three suitable candidates, where possible for consideration by the Bureau.

Following the Committee’s first time in operation ahead of the 2011 elections, the Committee itself, the ASP Bureau co-facilitators and the Secretariat of the ASP issued separate reports evaluating the process to identify and achieve consensus on the election of the ICC Prosecutor.

Election Campaign

The election of the ICC prosecutor is a crucial decision, impacting almost every aspect of the ICC. Ahead of the 18th ASP session, the Coalition calls on states to revisit the recommendations contained in the reports, to undertake a thorough review of the process in light of the potential for the Search Committee process to be a suitable model for the future ICC and other international elections processes.  

For More Information

Read our blog Election 2020: Prosecutor

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