Former UP Law dean nominated to Int'l Criminal Court
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A year after Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago resigned from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the vacancy she created will be filled up.
Remember that the senator stepped down in June 2014 because of a debilitating ailment, chronic fatigue syndrome. She was the first Filipino to be elected ICC judge.
In June, the Assembly of States Parties will meet in The Hague, where the ICC is based, and choose from two candidates: Raul Pangalangan from the Philippines and Ibrahim Mashhoor Aljazy from Jordan. The third candidate from Bangladesh withdrew.
The ICC is an independent court and the world’s first permanent international criminal court established "to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community."
In a note verbale, the Philippine government nominated Pangalangan, law professor and former dean at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, "based on his established competence in international law." He was also a Philippine delegate to the 1998 Rome conference that established the ICC. (READ the note verbale here.)
Pangalangan, 56, graduated from the UP College of Law and received his doctorate in international law from Harvard. Apart from teaching law at UP, Pangalangan is currently the publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. If chosen, he will serve a term of 9 years and will be one of 18 judges.
In a very transparent process, the credentials of the two candidates as well as their evaluation by the Advisory Committee on Nomination of Judges of the ICC are all available online.
Both candidates were asked to reply to a long questionnaire that includes questions on why they want to be elected judge of the ICC, the challenges facing the Court, their experience and qualification. Pangalangan’s answers can be read here.
Pangalangan and Aljazy also spoke and answered questions in a forum in The Hague. The entire discussion can be viewed here.
Jesus Gary Domingo, assistant secretary for the United Nations and other international organizations at the foreign affairs department, recently posted in his Facebook page photos of Pangalangan with himself and other Filipino diplomats in the UN headquarters in New York with the caption, "Campaigning for Dean Raul Pangalangan for the International Criminal Court."
Thrice, Pangalangan was a candidate to the Philippine Supreme Court but never got appointed; these included his nomination to be chief justice after Renato Corona was impeached in 2011.
In a statement on Thursday, June 25, Senator Santiago extended her "heartfelt congratulations" to Pangalangan, who was "my former student at the University of the Philippines College of Law."
"May he continue to make the nation proud by practicing law in the grand manner," the senator said. – Marites Dañguilan Vitug/Rappler.com
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