International Criminal Court: New ICC Prosecutor Promises To Work To End Impunity for Worst Human Rights Violators

Fatou Bensouda


On December 12th the International  Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties (ASP) officially elected by acclamation Ms. Fatou Bensouda as the new Prosecutor of the Court for a period of nine years starting next June.[1]

Ms. Bensouda endorsed “the legal mandate entrusted to the Prosecutor to end impunity for those responsible for the gravest offenses, bringing justice to their victims, and preventing future crimes.” She also pledged to continue working in close cooperation with the other organs of the Court, the ASP and civil society and to do so in a consistent, predictable and transparent manner.

The day after her election, she told the ASP that she would strengthen efforts to bring to justice perpetrators of sexual and gender crimes. Too often, she said, such crimes go unreported and unpunished and the victims trivialized, denigrated, threatened and silenced.[2]

The election of Ms. Bensouda was applauded by a close observer of the Court: “Her wealth of experience, her talent and commitment to justice, her tremendous personal charisma and gravitas and her inclusive and collaborative working style” should produce an effective tenure as the Prosecutor.[3]

Although the U.S. is not a party to the Court’s Rome Statute, U.S. representatives are attending the New York meeting of the ASP. At a side event, U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen J. Rapp described extensive U.S. efforts to ensure justice for victims by ensuring protection for witnesses. He also said the U.S. is involved in all of the situations now under investigation by the Court.[4]

[1] ICC Press Release, The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute opens its tenth session (Dec. 14, 2011); Bensouda, Election Speech (Dec. 12, 2011). See Post: International Criminal Court: New States Parties, Judges and Prosecutor (Nov. 22, 2011); Comment [to same post]: List of Possible New ICC Prosecutor Is Narrowed to Two People (Nov. 28, 2011); ); Comment [to same post]:Consensus on New Prosecutor (Dec. 1, 2011).

[2] Lederer, Next ICC Prosecutor warns against sex crimes, Assoc. Press (Dec. 13, 2011).

[3]  Sadat, View from New York: ICC ASP session, IntLawGrrls (Dec. 13, 2011).

[4]  AMICC, US Ambassador Rapp Touts American Cooperation with ICC at ASP in New York (Dec. 14, 2011),



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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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