You are here:   Blogs >Joshua Rozenberg > Prosecutor Lives to Fight Another Case
Standpoint Blogs
 
 
Joshua Rozenberg
Tuesday 13th October 2009
Prosecutor Lives to Fight Another Case

Rumours are circulating at the International Criminal Court that the Japanese, who contribute more to the court's budget than any other government, are concerned about the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

According to these rumours, the Japanese want the prosecutor's term of office to be reduced from nine years to five years and they want court officials to be given greater control over the prosecutor's budget.

I was told that these proposals were contained in a "non-paper" - an unofficial document - being circulated ahead of the court's planned review conference in Kampala next year.

I have not been able to obtain a copy of this paper. But I am assured that the story is only partially true.

The Japanese are certainly concerned about how Moreno-Ocampo is spending his budget - and rightly so, since he has only one bogged-down trial to show for his six years in office.

But I am told that the non-paper makes no mention of the reducing the prosecutor's term.

This is no doubt entirely unconnected with the fact that Japan currently has a candidate for election to the court. The first Japanese judge, Fumiko Saiga, died in April at the age of 65. She had served for little more than a year.

I suggested at the time that

it might be appropriate to nominate someone with judicial experience as her successor. Failing that, might it not be a good idea to find someone with legal training?

Ms Saiga had neither.

The new Japanese candidate, Kuniko Ozaki, does indeed have a strong academic legal background: she is currently a professor of international law. And she is also a special assistant at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she has worked for most of her career.

She has no experience as a judge. But I'm told the problem is that no Japanese judge is likely to speak English to the level required to operate in The Hague. The only people who can do the job are likely to be career diplomats.

 
Like this article? Share, save or print using the icons below
Delicious   Digg   StumbleUpon   Propeller   Reddit   Magnoliacom   Newsvine   Furl   Facebook   Google   Yahoo   Technorati   Icerocket   Print   Mail   Twitter   
Share/Save
 
 
 

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
 
About Joshua Rozenberg

Joshua Rozenberg is an independent legal commentator who presents Law in Action on BBC Radio 4.

Recent Blog Posts
Blog List
More Posts
Popular Standpoint topics