Minister Cowen announces nomination of Irish Judge for ICC election
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen TD, today announced the Government=s nomination of Judge Maureen Harding Clark as a candidate for election as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The election will take place during the meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in New York from 3 to 7 February, 2003.
In June 2001, Judge Clark was elected as an ad litem judge of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 (ICTY) and has served as a Judge since September 2001.
Prior to her election to the ICTY, Judge Clark was one of Ireland=s leading criminal lawyers. She was called to the Bar in 1975 and became a Senior Counsel in 1991. She has extensive criminal law experience, having acted as both a defender and a prosecutor in major criminal trials. Judge Clark has also acted in an advisory capacity to both the Law Reform Commission and the Government in areas including sexual offences, violent offences against women and children, and the needs and rights of victims.
The Minister and the Government are convinced that, if elected, Judge Clark's expertise and experience will contribute significantly towards the work of the International Criminal Court.
Note for editors:
The Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted following a United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries held in Rome from 15 June to 17 July 1998. The Rome Statute establishes an international, permanent Court with jurisdiction over the most heinous international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the prosecution of which is of major importance to the international community. The role of the ICC is complementary to that of national courts, and the ICC will determine that a case is admissible only if the national legal systems are unable or unwilling to carry out the appropriate investigation and, if necessary, prosecution.
Ireland ratified the Rome Statute in April 2002 following a popular referendum to amend the Constitution. The Statute came into force on 1 July 2002 and the first Assembly of States Parties was held in New York in September. There are currently 81 States Party to the Court, each of whom is entitled to vote in the election of a panel of eighteen Judges. In voting for candidates, States Parties are obliged to have regard to the need for representation of the principal legal systems of the world, equitable geographical representation and a fair balance of male and female judges.