One of the overarching ideas this blog explores is the emerging trend of appealing to international criminal justice in (and in the wake of) conflict situations. The fact that “we no longer consider whether to pursue justice, but how and when” is part of the proliferation of the practice and perhaps more importantly the idea of transitional justice. The speed of TJ’s expansion is striking. It cycled through its celebratory phase, was consolidated as a field of knowledge and practice, and developed a body of critical literature within a decade of its formation as a concept. The tensions that exist within the “field” are also striking; transitional justice often seeks to balance conflicting ideas such as peace and justice, the international and the local, retribution and restoration, law and politics. As a field of knowledge it draws upon competing and conflicting disciplines and as a field of practice it attempts to apply unified narratives to a range of local experiences.
According to Colum Lynch and a few other observers, current Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, will become the next top Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
Earlier this week, the ICC announced that the four short-listed candidates (Robert Petit of Canada; Andrew Cayley of the UK; Mohamed Chande Othman of Tanzania; and Fatou Bensouda of Gambia), had been whittled down to two.
It has become apparent that the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties wanted to avoid an election by deciding on a “consensus candidate.” Kevin Jon Heller, at Opinio Juris, suggested that the ICC likely conducted informal polling which made clear that a consensus had formed around having an African Prosecutor. Othman subsequently decided to step aside, allowing Bensouda to emerge as the sole candidate for the job. In all likelihood, Othman understood his chances were slim-to-none given that the African Union – which had decided to support an African candidate for Prosecutor – endorsed Bensouda.