The ICC Registrar 

The ICC Registrar heads the ICC Registry and is responsible for its effective functioning. The Registry, which operates under the authority of the ICC president, provides services to the other organs of the Court and is responsible for: 

  1. Judicial support, such as translation and interpretation, management of court records, support to victims’ participation and the appearance of witnesses in proceedings, administration of legal aid and other counsel support and detention center management;
  2. External affairs, such as public information and outreach, field office support and external relations; and
  3. Management, such as the Court’s budget, human resources, security and other administrative services.


Each Registrar is elected by the plenary of ICC judges for a five-year term and is eligible for re-election once. 

To date, the Court has had four Registrars, three men and one woman, all nationals of the Western European and Other Group.

The necessary qualifications

Rome Statute Article 43(3) stipulates that the Registrar shall be “of high moral character, be highly competent and have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court.”

In previous elections, additional criteria for the assessment of candidates’ qualifications have been suggested by the Assembly when providing recommendations to the judges ahead of the election of the registrar. These have included ensuring that the Rome Statute criteria for the election of ICC judges also applies to Registrar elections (that is, the representation of the principal legal systems of the world; equitable geographical representation; a fair representation of female and male persons; and legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, violence against women and children).

National of non-States Parties may be considered for the position, but in previous elections the Assembly has recommended the election of a national of a state party to the Rome Statute

How is the ICC registrar elected?

The election of the Registrar is governed by article 43 of the Rome Statute of the ICC and rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as well as by the practices developed in previous elections.

The Application Process

vacancy announcement for the position, drafted by the Court with the input of States Parties, is publicly advertised by the Court and is made available on the Court website. Applications are open to qualified individuals, and do not require nomination by a state. 

The applications received are assessed by the Court’s Human Resources section based on the minimum requirements stipulated in the vacancy announcement. The Human Resources section submits a longlist of candidates meeting the requirements to the ICC Presidency. The ICC Presidency is composed of the Court’s President and its two Vice-Presidents. 

The Election Process

The ICC Presidency prepares a shortlist of candidates who satisfy the criteria laid down in Rome Statute article 43(3), see below. The shortlist is then submitted to the Assembly of States Parties. 

In a new development since the 2023 election, candidates are subject to a due diligence” process (that is, a vetting process). Candidates also take part in public hearings open to states parties and civil society.

The role of the Assembly in the election process itself is to provide a recommendation to the ICC judges. Previous Assembly recommendations did not focus on individual candidates but rather indicated additional criteria for the assessment of candidates’ qualifications.

The registrar is elected by the plenary of ICC judges by absolute majority by secret ballot, taking into account any recommendation by the Assembly of States Parties. If an absolute majority is not achieved in the first round, successive voting rounds shall be held until a candidate obtains an absolute majority.