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International Criminal Court launches campaign to increase representation of Latin America and Caribbean Counsels 


On 21 November 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched the campaign “Join the ICC List of Counsel!” to increase the number of lawyers from Latin America and the Caribbean practicing before the ICC. Through a number of activities with national bar associations in several  countries, the campaign will encourage candidates from the region to apply to the List of Counsels. It will also represent an opportunity for the  legal communities to learn more about the ICC and its work.

Victims, accused persons and under certain conditions, suspects have the right to be assisted by Counsel in the proceedings before the ICC. The Court is committed to providing these individuals with a pool of highly qualified Counsel, ensuring in such a way an adequate legal representation.  Therefore, experienced lawyers who wish to represent defendants, victims or witnesses before the Court must first be admitted to the List of counsel. Those who are at an early stage of their career, as well as professors of law with relevant expertise, can apply for admission to the List of Assistants to Counsel.

While the majority of the countries from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) are State Parties of the Court, this region is amongst the least represented regions on the List of Counsel and List of Assistants to Counsel. With only 20 lawyers in the List of Counsel, the region only represents 2,14% of the List. In addition, there is almost no female presence among GRULAC lawyers on the List of Counsel. 

“It is crucial to the ICC to promote diversity and ensure an inclusive environment, including amongst the lawyers who practice before the Court,” said ICC Registrar Peter Lewis. “This campaign is pivotal to the continued dialogue with the legal communities of the region and to enhancing knowledge about the ICC. Lawyers play a crucial role as leaders in the international criminal law field,” he added.

Information sessions, that are the central element of the campaign, are expected to be organised in Costa Rica, México, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina, with possibility of extension in more countries later next year.  The candidacy of counsels from the region and in particular women will be prioritized during this period.

In addition to opening new professional perspectives to counsels, to be part of the ICC Lists offers training opportunities and building legal skills  as well as the opportunity to developing professional links around the world.

“ICC Counsels play a crucial role at the ICC. On a personal level, practicing as a Counsel before the Court is very rewarding. Besides being a motivating professional experience, it is an opportunity to build a career in international criminal law, develop professional networks and strengthen skills and knowledge,” said Jennifer Naouri, President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA). “The ICCBA, as the association representing Counsel and support staff before the ICC, supports and advocates for the highest geographical, cultural and gender diversity for those appearing before the Court. Only the promotion of this diversity, particularly in the courtroom, can contribute to the achievement of a truly universal international justice,” she added.

This initiative has the financial support of the European Commission and is undertaken in the collaboration with the International Bar Association (IBA) and the International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA).

More information on the campaign

Join the ICC List of Counsel! Campaign booklet: EnglishSpanish

More on Legal Professionals and the ICC 

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