Tuesday, September 30, 2014

American public opinion’s awareness and support for the ICC: a comparison between the Chicago Council and the online IPSOS surveys

The issue

This paper aims to assess the current trend in American public opinion’s support and acceptance of the ICC by comparing the results of the most recent opinion polls concerning the ICC in 2010 and 2012. The surveys considered have two different sponsors which have used different methods in conducting them.
This comparison of the two approaches is intended to check if the separate methods applied have resulted in different or similar results and to determine the significance of the differences. The sources analyzed are the Chicago Council Survey and the IPSOS Public Affairs. The latter is a social research and corporate reputation specialists group which is helping the American Bar Association-ICC project to determine and analyze US public opinion about the Court.
The Chicago Council survey and its findings

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has conducted different surveys on this topic respectively in 2008, 2010 and 2012 whose results show a significant, although modest increase in the number of American people interested in and sensitive to the involvement of the US in the Court’s work and to potential ratification of the Court’s Rome Statute.

From 68% of Americans willing to ratify the Rome Statute in 2008 [1], in 2010 the percentage reached 70% of those who not only would ratify the Statute [2] but also would support any attempt to strengthen the ICC as international institution[3]. The last survey conducted by the same organization in September 2012 did not show any difference from the previous figure, confirming the 70% of Americans are in favor of the Court.(p.44)

Methodology and criteria applied by Chicago Council

The Council’s method in its biennial surveys on American attitudes towards US foreign policy is based on a direct questionnaire involving a representative national sample of adults, including an additional sample of Hispanic respondents. The margin of sampling error for the full sample varies and fluctuates and so does the amount of time needed to complete it.
In 2008 the Council asked the respondents if the US should participate in international treaties such as the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. The result was that 68% of Americans were in favor.
In 2010, The Council limited its survey about the ICC to two questions:
1. Should the US participate in the Rome Statute?
2.   Do you think that international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, should be strengthened or not?
As above mentioned, the percentage increased to 70%. In the 2012 survey, the Council repeated the question regarding the participation of the US in the ICC’s treaty and the 70% figure did not change.  

In its polling data research, the Council usually assigns the task of conducting the survey to polling and research firms in the United States. For instance, in the 2012 report, the GfK Custom Research, a market research firm based in California, fielded the survey to a total of 3,135 respondents. Of these there were 2,747 for the general population sample and 388 for the eighteen to twenty-nine-year-old additional sample. Those completing the survey were 1,984: 1,790 general population, 194 eighteen to twenty-nine-year-old additional sample. This yielded a completion rate of 63 percent: 65% general population, 50% eighteen to twenty-nine-year-old additional sample. The survey had a total sample size of 1,877 American adults. Of the total 1,984 completed cases, 107 (88 general population, 19 eighteen to twenty-nine-year-old in a special sample) were excluded based on four predetermined criteria. The survey was fielded using a randomly selected sample of GfK’s large-scale, nationwide research group called KnowledgePanel®.

Unlike groups whose members decide voluntarily to participate in a survey, in standard polls like the one by the Chicago survey, individuals can become members of the group to be interviewed only after being randomly selected, no one can just volunteer to be a member. This selection method provides results which more near represent the US population with a consistently higher degree of accuracy than results obtainable from volunteer opt-in groups.
In the Chicago Council  poll, the group of people interviewed was recruited using random digit dialing (RDD) telephone sampling and also address-based sampling (ABS) for households without landline telephone numbers.
Individual residing at randomly residing addresses were invited to join the panel through mailings and for non responders a telephone call in English and in Spanish was made when a telephone number could be matched to the sample address.
RDD provides some probability of selection for every U.S. household with a telephone.
Household members who were randomly selected could indicate their willingness to join the panel by returning a complete acceptance form in a postage-paid envelope or calling a toll-free hotline or visiting a dedicated recruitment website.  
Households that agree to participate in the panel are provided with free Web access and an Internet appliance (if necessary), which uses a telephone line to connect to the Internet and uses the television as a monitor. Thus, the sample is not limited to those in the population who already have Internet access.

The distribution of the sample closely tracked the distribution of United States Census reports for the U.S. population eighteen years of age or older on age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, geographical region, employment status, income, education, etc. To reduce the effects of any non response and non coverage bias in panel estimates, a post statistical adjustment of the sample weights is applied so that sample weights sum up to the population sizes within each group.
This is possible by using demographic distributions from the most recent data from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
The post stratification variables include age, race, gender, Hispanic ethnicity, and education.
The completion rate for respondents is 65% with some variation depending on survey length, topic, and other fielding characteristics. In contrast, online groups of volunteer respondents typically achieve a survey completion rate in the 2% to 16% rate.[4]

The IPSOS Public Affairs opinion polls about the ICC
Ipsos is a global independent market research company specialized in six areas including international justice and global affairs. This specialization is also one of the reasons why the American Bar Association chose IPSOS to conduct surveys related to its ICC project. The ABA-ICC project was established to raise awareness in the US about the work of the ICC to prosecute those responsible for the most heinous crimes.

Ipsos methodology

The Ipsos survey used an online voluntary questionnaire. Its results were weighted to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflected that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results approximating the population from which the volunteer respondents came. To reduce the effects of any non-response and non-coverage bias in panel estimates, a post statistical adjustment of the weights was applied so that they sum up to the population sizes within each group. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls because they are based on samples drawn from opt-in online panels, not on random samples that mirror the population within a statistical probability ratio. In addition to that, the self-selection of respondents is likely to attract more people opposed to the Court than the traditional random selection does.

Ipsos findings

In February 2014, IPSOS Public Affairs conducted an online survey interviewing a national sample of 1,005 adults and asking a more detailed series of questions regarding specific aspects of the ICC than the Chicago Global Council survey. However, Ipsos filtered out some data so as to include just those respondents reporting that they know ‘A great deal’, ‘A fair amount’, or ‘ A little bit’ about the ICC at question 1 cutting out those who say they know ‘Nothing at all’. This reduced the filtered base size to 379 adults called audience “aware of ICC “. The filtering was based on a question that asked the respondents how much they knew about the Court and provided four possible answers. The result was that only 4% of the sample panel knew “a great deal” in contrast with the 60% of it who knew nothing at all. 8% of it knew “a fair amount” and 28% a” little bit”.

Question 2 gave five statements panelists could agree with or not.
1. The US is currently a member of the ICC,
2.  It is important for the United States to participate in international organizations that support human       rights and that hold individuals accountable for mass atrocities
3. Joining international organizations concerned with human rights and holding individuals accountable for mass atrocities is a risk to the United States because it could hurt our autonomy.
4. We should dedicate US resources (financial military, intelligence etc) to international organizations that support human rights and hold individuals accountable for mass atrocities.
5. It is not in our best interest to dedicate US resources (financial military, intelligence etc) to international organizations that support human rights and hold individuals accountable for mass atrocities.
The results were that 68% of respondents did not know if the US is currently a member of the ICC, 8% of them knew that it is not a member and 28% thought that it is a member.
By contrast, in the group of people aware of the ICC, the majority thought that the US is a member, (52%), a minority knew that it is not (6%) and the rest did not know the answer.
Answers to the other statements regarding the participation of the US in human rights organizations corroborate the favorable trend expressed by other public opinion polls with 60% of Americans without knowledge of the ICC, who would like the US to participate and join human rights organizations, and with 71% of those aware of the ICC who share the same opinion.
Furthermore, turning to a statement about possible risks in American participation in the ICC, question 3, only 24% of the unaware audience agreed with this statement, whereas 39% did not know and 37% disagreed with it. The situation changed in the audience aware of the ICC, where the majority disagreed with the statement (44%) and 39% agreed with it.

In the following series of questions, interviewers inserted in the survey a more detailed paragraph with information about the ICC and its goals and the American opinion about a future American involvement in it. This information identified issues in the current debate over ICC such as sovereignty issues and politically motivated prosecution of American soldiers at the ICC. Results show that the majority of Americans unaware of the ICC, when informed about the debate, did not know if the US should become a member of the ICC (42%), 34% thought that it should and 24% thought that it should not join the Court.
On the contrary, among those aware of the ICC, the majority agreed with an American membership in the Court, 25% disagreed and 23% did not know if the US should or should not join the Court.

Moreover, when people were asked about the different degrees of American participation in the ICC’s work, they were provided with different alternatives.
The first was the possibility to give moderate resources to support ICC’s actions without formally joining the Court. About this option, 44% of all respondents agreed and 19% disagreed, while 37% did not know.
Among the aware group, 57% agreed, 22% did not agree and 21% did not know.
The second option concerned the sovereignty issue. A majority of respondents did not know if joining the Court would compromise American sovereignty (43%), 31% thought it would not and the rest of Americans (26%) agreed that US participation in the ICC would affect American sovereignty. Instead, among those previously aware of the ICC, 40% disagreed with the statement, 36% agreed and 34% did not know if American sovereignty would be compromised.

The third option asked about a stronger involvement of the US governmental resources to support ICC actions without joining the Court.
Results are similar to the ones of the previous question: the majority of all respondents did not know if this could be a viable choice (43%); 28% thought that the US should become more involved without joining the Court and 29% disagreed with this option. Among those aware of the ICC, 44% agreed with the statement, 30% disagreed and 26% did not know.
The last option asked if the Court should become a full member of the ICC.
Similarly to the other options, the majority of respondents did not know what to answer (47%), 22% agreed with a full membership option and 31% disagreed. Consistent with the previous results, among those aware of the ICC, there is an almost equal distribution of the answers as 36% agreed with a full membership 34% disagreed and 30% did not know if the US should become a full member of the ICC.

The last set of questions involved the situation in Kenya and the charges against its President Kenyatta and the Deputy President Ruto. In particular, people were asked if sitting heads of states should have immunity from the ICC for mass atrocities charges, and whether President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto should participate in person in the trial, or through video or defense lawyers.To the first question, the vast majority of Americans (60%) replied that they would deny immunity to sitting heads of States, whereas only 9% would grant it during their time in office,
Among the aware of the ICC audience, a similar pattern can be identified with 66% of Americans against the immunity for sitting heads of States and just 18% in favor of that. Similarly, regarding President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto, 51% of all Americans thought that they should stand trial in person, 18% thought that they could participate via video conference, 9% thought that they could just send their lawyers to the Hague and 28% did not know the answer. Among the restricted sample of those aware of the ICC, for 58% of Americans they should stand trial in person, for 24% they could do the same through a video conference, for 15% their lawyers could participate on their behalf.

From this short summary of the IPSOS survey conducted in 2014, it can certainly be argued that although a majority of Americans will be willing to support the ICC without a direct membership, a wide proportion of them is still unsure and uncertain of what could be the best option for the country, and a considerable proportion of people disagree with the US involvement in the ICC’s actions.
Furthermore, turning to those who know the Court, the difference between the supporters and detractors of the ICC is not very remarkable, whereas a good percentage of people could not make a choice.        

Ipsos vs Chicago Council.
Similarities and differences in the opinion poll results and methodology

Comparing the results of the two opinion poll data survey, it is easy to identify three main differences in method and consequently in results.
In the Ipsos report, only 22% of all respondents answered in a positive way, while 31% were against and a majority of people could not make a choice. In the Chicago Council report instead, 70% of rspondents would welcome a ratification of the Rome Statute

The Chicago Council method, moreover, is based on randomly sample of selected people (knowledge panel). They are chosen among the American population and they are selected using a variety of criteria: such as age, race origin, income. (first difference)
The panel is then composed by respondents who accepted to be interviewed online and were given access to the Internet in case they do not have it.
The accuracy thus is very high as well as the quality of the survey as every sample unit has a known probability, and therefore it is clear of the errors coming from voluntary opt-in groups.
 The Ipsos survey was based on online volunteer panelists who decide to take the survey without being chosen before and as a result there is not a statistical probability ratio that can mirror the American population.

The second difference is the presence of verification key checks that control the way respondents take the survey. In the Chicago Council report, for instance, people who spend less than ten minutes to finish the survey were excluded. The Ipsos survey did not use any control indicator and the sample considered is significantly small as people who take the survey may decide to opt out during the survey.
The third difference is the completion rate or response rate. The completion rate is the number of people who answered the survey divided by the number of people in the sample. It is usually expressed in the form of a percentage. For the Chicago Council survey it is 65%, for Ipsos online polls is only 15%.

In results, what stands out most from this comparison is the deep gap between the Chicago Council’s and Ipsos’s findings regarding the question of the full participation of the US in the Court.
In the Ipsos survey the question most comparable to the Chicago Council’s report is whether the US should become a full member of the International Criminal Court.
Only 22% of all respondents answered in a positive way, as compared to 31% against and a majority of people who could not make a choice. In the Chicago Council report instead, 70% of respondents would welcome a ratification of the Rome Statute.

Assessing the trend
In conclusion, the Chicago Council report based on the randomly selected group may be more reliable and accurate than the Ipsos one because of the latter’s opt in method and therefore, the 70% of Americans who would be willing to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC could be a more accurate assessment.
However, the more recent Ipsos survey may be showing a real change over time in US attitude toward the ICC. Also, the questions addressed by this last report were more specific and detailed than the Chicago poll, and therefore more likely to provide some insight into public knowledge about it.

Written for AMICC  by Miriam Morfino on 09/19/2014


[1] Cfr., Chicago Council Survey (2008), Anxious Americans seek a new direction in United States Foreign Policy, p.13 fig.4.
[2] Cfr., Chicago Council Survey (2010), Constrained Internationalism: Adapting to New realities, p. 16 fig. 9.
[3] Cfr., Ibidem p. 22 fig. 15.
[4] Cfr., GFK 2013, Knowledge Panel® Design Summary  (p.1-5).

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Viability of the International Criminal Court in the Current International Environment

 The summer of 2014 has come to a close with a very grim international outlook: the Israeli-Palestine situation appears to have simmered down, but there is no clear promise of a sustainable solution; it is possible that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eastern Europe, and probable that similar behavior will continue; Putin has announced a cease-fire plan to end months of violence in Ukraine, but many believe that aggression is still looming; and The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seems to be growing into a bigger, more ruthless threat by the moment.  In these situations where the leaders are exceptionally powerful, the events are appalling and dangerous, and the dimensions are vast: Is the ICC still viable? Is the Court even relevant? The answer to those questions we give here is: yes. The court is both viable and relevant, even in situations of such enormity. 

Over the past month or so, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has made multiple threats to either ratify the Rome Statute, or make a new ad hoc declaration to enable ICC jurisdiction. Either action would enable the ICC to open an investigation into whether any war crimes or crimes against humanity have occurred in the most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The hesitation to ratify or make a declaration initially seemed to be because this would enable the ICC to conduct an investigation into Palestinian activities as well: ICC jurisdiction extends to a whole situation, not just to one side or the other. However that concern was met when Hamas recently signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Now that it has official support from each of its factions, the PA can request the jurisdiction of the Court. However, the PA seems to be more in favor of using the potential to join the Court as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations, rather than as a way to prosecute Israeli officials. This seems to leave the impression that not only is there a real possibility for the Court to be entirely disregarded if the PA decides not to seek jurisdiction, but also that the decision to involve the ICC is entirely out of the Court’s hands. However, these assumptions overlook another way for the Court to feasibly approach the Israel-Palestine situation than a PA request for jurisdiction. 

Recently, an Israeli civil rights group, the Shurat Hasin Israel Law Center, filed information in the International Criminal Court to support a prosecution of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. This alleges that Hamas executed 20 Gaza civilians on July 28 for engaging in anti-Hamas protests, and executed at least 18 civilians on August 22 for collaboration with Israel. The complaints further state that Mashaal was fully aware of the executions, and even supported them. Furthermore, these actions fall under the jurisdiction of the Court because Mashaal is a citizen of Jordan, an ICC State Party. The Court is able to exercise jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a State Party, thus Khaled Mashaal is subject to prosecution. Assuming that all other ICC preconditions are met, the court could take up this case. 

In the case of ISIS, it is carrying out deadly attacks whose brutality and ruthlessness have shocked the world. Its actions have killed thousands of people; enslaved about 300 Yazidi women and abducted hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women; and internally displaced of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been fleeing to Iraq’s Kurdish region. ISIS militants seize control of towns and villages, herd groups of boys and men into trucks, and shoot them in cold blood. These massacres and abductions provide strong evidence that ISIS is ethnically cleansing religious minorities in northern Iraq on a historic scale. Apart from being both outrageous and despicable, these actions may constitute either crimes against humanity or genocide, or both. Systematic attacks directed against any civilian population because of their ethnic or political background, religion or belief may constitute a crime against humanity, and certain acts, if committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, may constitute genocide. 

Iraq is not currently a State Party to the International Criminal Court. If it were to take the advice of many and ratify the Rome Statute or make an ad hoc declaration enabling ICC jurisdiction, the ICC Prosecutor would be able to open an investigation into the situation, and help stop the sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing in Iraq that has carried on for months. This action by Iraq may have a further benefit by deterring certain groups that have provided support for ISIS. 

Moreover, in the event that Iraq does not ratify the Statute, or make a declaration to enable jurisdiction, there are other ways that the Court could act. On August 19, 2014, ISIS released a video of US journalist, James Foley, kneeing next to a man dressed in black. The video showed the beheading of Mr. Foley, and threatened the life of another American if President Obama did not end military operations. The man dressed in black, speaking on behalf of ISIS, appeared to speak with a British accent, and British intelligence officials believe they have identified the man. Furthermore, British intelligence estimates that about 500 Britons have joined ISIS, and they are said to be among many other Europeans believed to be part of the militant group. The fact that many European countries, including Britain, are State Parties to the ICC means that, citizens of those countries are subject to prosecution by the ICC, irrelevant of where their acts are committed. If citizens of State Parties who can be identified acted in a ways that qualify as crimes against humanity or genocide through their participation in ISIS, the Court would have a clear means of action.
Elsewhere in this dark time internationally, Ukraine and Russia are another primary concern for the ICC. Ukraine has been overcome by domestic unrest and external pressure from Russia since President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union in November, 2013. Those tensions have continued and strengthened: Flight MH17 was shot down, heavy sanctions have been imposed on Russia, and pro-Russian separatists have caused internal turmoil in Ukraine. Recently, Russian troops have invaded Ukraine, and, following a week of combat, the two countries agreed to a temporary and shaky ceasefire. However, Russia has been unpredictable, and many leaders worldwide are skeptical of Putin’s reliability in sustaining the cease-fire. Meanwhile, in reaction to these events, coupled with the trouble in the Middle East, NATO has formed a rapid reaction force of several thousand troops.

These events in Ukraine do not currently fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. However, the restrictions that prevent the Court from acting in this scenario are not only typical of a Court of this nature, but are also beneficial for the Court in other ways. They demonstrate that the Court respects the boundaries of its jurisdiction. Like any other court, the Court has a specific mandate and rules of jurisdiction: there is evidently the potential for trying individuals, but only for certain individuals, of certain nationalities, committing certain acts. These restrictions, though admittedly frustrating in certain situations, are essential in that they enable the Court to function objectively and equitably. They prevent politicization and counter fears of the Court becoming a loose cannon. 

 In conclusion, The International Criminal Court is without a doubt a force that is both relevant and viable during this time of turmoil. Where the Court can act, there are practical means of action, and where the Court cannot act, its respect for its limitations in place strengthen its credibility as responsible and disciplined. 

 Written by Jessica Levy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AMICC attends constructively the panel discussions with ICC judicial candidates in anticipation of the eighth judicial elections in December 2014

AMICC attends constructively the panel discussions with ICC judicial candidates in anticipation of the eighth judicial elections in December 2014
Thursday 11th Sept- Friday 12th Sept 2014
New York, UN Headquarters

Since 2010, the NGO Coalition for the ICC has appointed an independent high expert panel on the ICC’s judicial elections in order to educate and promote ICC’s best qualified nominations with the aim to fulfill and fully accomplish art. 36 par 3 of the R.S.
The Panel is composed of esteemed international law experts, representing legal systems from the five geographical regions recognized at the United Nations as well as both civil law and common law systems, and who have been appointed to renewable three year term, and its main goal is to assess strictly the qualifications that the ICC treaty requires, and look carefully at the nominating documents submitted by governments to determine whether a candidate is either ‘qualified’.

The provision included in art.36 of the Statute, in fact,, requires each candidate to be impartial, qualified, and of moral character and provides, among other things, the ASP with the possibility to establish an Advisory Committee on nomination par.3(c), in order to guarantee that candidates’ backgrounds and experience meet the requirements set in the Statute.
The committee should facilitate the election of the highest qualified individuals as judges of the ICC and the Coalition along with AMICC has been tried to support its work in occasion of the sixth and seventh elections.
Furthermore, the independent panel appointed by the Coalition, has been trying to enhance and promote transparency and accountability of the judicial nominations and elections by launching a campaign ICC/ASP judicial elections whose results have been without any doubts successful.
Statistical data, such as the progressive reductions in the number of nominees, show how the experiences and expertise of States candidates have improved as well as their qualifications and competences, reaffirming principles enshrined in the Rome Statute and in other legal instruments.
One difficult challenge concerning States’ judicial candidacy is represented by the so-called “vote-trading ” practice existing among Member States Parties to the RS.
 States’ political parties and regional groups often put in force a series of political agreements in order to choose judicial candidates.  

By raising the level of expertise and transparency of the candidates, the Coalition and other NGOs aim to oppose to this practice which jeopardizes the transparency and accountability of the candidates.    
The panel as well as the Coalition in fact has tried to involve the public opinion, NGOs and Human rights activists in order to publicize and raise awareness on the elections procedure and candidates. The method used is intended to be transparent and objective and it has been proven to be effective as shown by this last eight election campaign.    
Each nominee is asked to fill out questionnaires that provide additional information about the candidates’ qualifications. The Coalition interviews all candidates, holds public seminars with available candidates and experts, and hosts public debates.
In occasion of the 8th election which will take place in December 2014 at the 13th Assembly of States Parties,(8-17 December 2014), seventeen countries have chosen candidates for the December elections to fill six vacant positions on the Court’s bench.

 According to the Rome statutes, (art. 36 par.6, a) the ASP will elect those judges who obtain the highest number of votes with at least a two-thirds majority of states parties present and voting from a pool of nominated candidates.
Candidates shall have established competence in criminal law and procedure and necessary relevant experience in criminal proceedings (list A candidates) or established competence in relevant areas of international law and extensive practical experience in a professional legal capacity (list B candidates).(art.36 par.3)
States parties must also take into account the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, equitable geographical representation, a fair representation of female and male judges, and judges with legal expertise on specific issues including, but not limited to, violence against children or women.(art.36 par.8 a and b)
According to the Status of nomination for the election of six judges (as at 4 August 2014),

The minimum voting requirements are: 2 for List B, 2 for Eastern-European States, 1 for Asia-Pacific States and 1 for male candidates.
Each nominee replied to a questionnaire prepared by the Coalition taking into account relevant criteria and principles of ICL consistent perfectly with the RS and the ICL legal framework.
A set of twenty questions divided into ten different topics works as a useful and functioning filter to test States’ candidacy.
The questionnaire includes the following questions, reflecting ICC statutory provisions.
1.       Why do you wish to be elected a judge the ICC?
2.       What do you believe are some of the major challenges currently facing the Court? What do you believe
will be some of the major challenges in the coming years?
Nomination process
3.       What are the qualifications required in the State of which you are a national for appointment to the highest
judicial offices? Please explain how you meet these qualifications
4.       Have you provided the statement required by article 36(4)(a) of the Rome Statute and by the nomination
and election procedure adopted by the Assembly of States Parties? If not, please provide an explanation
for this omission.
Legal system
5.       Which legal system does your country belong to? Please describe any knowledge or experience you have
               working in other legal systems.
Language ability
6.       The Rome Statute requires every candidate to have excellent knowledge of and be fluent in English or
               a) What is your native language?
               b) What is your knowledge and fluency in English? If it is not your native language, please give an
                   example of your experience working in English.
               c) What is your knowledge and fluency in French? If it is not your native language, please give an
                   example of your experience working in French?
7.       Your response to this question will depend on whether you were nominated as a List A candidate or a List
               B candidate. Since you may have the competence and experience to qualify for both lists, please feel free
               to answer both parts of this question to give the reader a more complete view of your background and
Other expertise and experience

8.       Please describe the aspects of your career, experience or expertise outside your professional competence
that you consider especially relevant to the work of an ICC judge.
9.       Please provide examples of your legal expertise in other relevant areas such as the crimes over which the
Court has jurisdiction; the management of complex criminal and mass crimes cases; or the disclosure of
Experience (and perspective) related to gender crimes and crimes of sexual violence
10.    Historically, many of the grave abuses suffered by women in situations of armed conflict have been
marginalized or overlooked. Please describe any experience you may have in dealing with crimes of
sexual and/or gender based violence and where you have applied a gender perspective, i.e. inquired into
the ways in which men and women were differently impacted.
Victims related work:
11.    Victims have a recognized right to participate in ICC proceedings and to apply for reparations under Article
75 of the Rome Statute. Please describe any experience that you have, which would be relevant to these
provisions, particularly any experience you may have that would make you particularly sensitive to/have
understanding of the participation of victims in the courtroom.

12.    How would you address the need for a balance between victims’ participation with the rights of the
accused to due process and a fair and impartial trial? Do you have any relevant experience in dealing with
this issue?
Human rights and Humanitarian Law experience
13.    Do you have any experience in working with or within international human rights bodies or courts or have
you served on the staff or board of directors of human rights or international humanitarian law organizations? Please briefly describe.
14.    Have you ever referred to or applied any specific provisions of international human rights or international
humanitarian law treaties within any judicial decision that you may have issued within the context of your
judicial activity or legal experience?
Implementation of the Rome Statute and ICL
15.    During the course of your judicial activity, if any, have you ever applied the provisions of the Rome Statute directly or through the equivalent national legislation that incorporates Rome Statute offences and procedure? Or have you ever referred to or applied the jurisprudence of the ICC, ad hoc or special tribunals? If so please describe the context in which you did.
Other matters
16.    Have you ever resigned from a position as a member of the bar of any country or been disciplined or
censured by any bar association of which you may have been a member? If yes, please describe the
17.    It is expected that a judge shall not, by words or conduct, manifest or appear to condone bias or prejudice,
including, but not limited to, bias or prejudice based upon age, race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, socioeconomic status, alienage or citizenship status.
a)       Do you disagree or have difficulty with this expectation?
b)       Have you ever been found by a governmental, legal or professional body to have discriminated against or harassed an individual on these grounds. If yes, please describe the circumstances
18.    Article 40 of the Rome Statute requires judges to be independent in the performance of their functions.
Members of the CICC and governments are concerned about the difficulties a judge may experience in
independently interpreting articles of the Rome Statute on which his or her government has expressed an
a)       Do you expect to have any difficulties in your taking a position independent of, and possibly
                             contrary to, your government?
b)       Article 41 requires a judge’s recusal “in any case in which his or her impartiality might be doubted
                             on any ground.” Do you feel you could participate in a judicial decision involving a matter in 
                             which your government has an interest, such as whether an investigation by your government on a 
                             matter of which the ICC was seized was genuine?
19.    The Rome Statute requires that judges elected to the Court be available from the commencement of their terms, to serve a non-renewable nine-year term, and possibly to remain in office to complete any trials or appeals. A judge is expected to handle legal matters for at least seven hours per day, five days per week.
a)       Do you expect to be able to serve at the commencement and for the duration of your term, if elected?
b)       Do you expect to be able to perform the judicial tasks described above on your own or with reasonable accommodation? If no, please describe the circumstances.
20.    If there are any other points/issues you wish to bring to the attention of the Coalition in this questionnaire, please feel free to address them here.
The structure and content of this questionnaire are relevant not only to the Coalition work but also to the AMICC advocacy campaign.
 Furthermore, during the Panel discussions with some of the ICC judicial candidates on the 11th and 12th Sept 2014 at UN Headquarters, William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition, asked the candidates to start with a general introduction about personal background and experience.
Later, He submitted them with the following questions   

1.       What do you believe are some of the major challenges currently facing the Court?
2.       If you were elected ICC judge, which division would you like to work?

To the first question, most of the candidates answered by enumerating issue related to the cooperation of States Parties with the Court, the length of the trials and the lack of publicity among the public opinion. (Hungarian candidate)
To the second question, almost all of them replied not to have any preference regarding the Chamber, as they are willing to accept to work in any Division.
However, some of them would prefer the Trial Division (French candidate).
The audience invited to attend the two days panel discussions included member of Human rights NGOs, advocacy groups, representatives of States regional groups, UN Security Council representative, and others groups.
They had time to ask questions directly to the ICC candidates.
The most debated questions regarded:

1.       The Independence of ICC judges from political pressures.
2.       Individual and collective victims participation
3.       Effectiveness and efficiency of ICC trials
4.       Rights of the accused
5.       Relations with the Security Council

Each candidate gave a wide range of answers according to their personal domestic and international experience.
In his final remarks, Mr. Pace stated that the discussion have been beneficial to the audience and public opinion, underlying however some missing points which were not addressed.

They are namely:

1.       Legal representation
2.       Witness protection
3.       Arrest warrant
4.       Cooperation with Non-States Parties

Since 2011, AMICC has been participating enthusiastically to these discussions as a sign of American involvement into the ICC ‘s fight against impunity.
It also considers the participation to this meeting fundamental and important for its advocacy campaign to stimulate and increase American public opinion’s awareness of the ICC.
As a result, the US, although still a Non-State Party, is also interested in a fairer and more transparent election procedure, and therefore will continue to support the Coalition and the Independent panel in reaching their goals.
It is not without importance that one of the Independent panel members, The Honourable Patricia Wald (Vice-Chair), was Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a clear sign of the American cooperation with the Court.

     Written for AMICC by Miriam Morfino on the 15th of September 2014