Statements of Estonia’s ICC candidate at the roundtable

ICC: ASP22 – election of judges: Roundtables

Opening statement of Mr Andres Parmas (Estonia)

7 November 2023, New York

Mr Moderator, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank for the opportunity to present myself and to answer the questions of the States’ parties and the civil society.

Allow me to point out 5 reasons why I believe that the Court and the membership would benefit from my skills and experience should I be elected as a judge at the ICC.

First. The ICC needs judges with proven ability to manage complex multi-defendant trials. For more than 20 years, I have been working in the judiciary both in Estonia and internationally. I have experience in handling war crimes and crimes against humanity cases. As a judge in Estonia, I have presided over a large number of trials involving different serious offences: murder, sexual violence, fraud and corruption. Complex cases have taught me the importance of case-management, which is also instrumental to the successful work as a judge at the ICC.

Second. I currently work as the Prosecutor General of Estonia. During my tenure, I have paid particular attention to introducing innovative methods of restorative justice, but also to reform the capacity of the Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute large-scale cases. This job has developed both my case management but also general management skills.

Third. As a current board member of the Trust Fund for the Victims at the ICC, I have a profound understanding of the functioning of the Court. The work with the Trust Fund has also taught me to grasp the needs of victims of grave crimes and the problems they are facing during the proceedings at the ICC.

Fourth. I believe that a solid academic background would greatly assist the work of an ICC judge. I have been a university lecturer for more than twenty years, and also a trainer of judges and prosecutors. I have published extensively on the matters pertaining to criminal law, international criminal law, and criminal policy. All this has contributed to further develop my analytical thinking, ability to compare and to express myself clearly and concisely.

And finally. My service on various international positions has offered me the experience to work in an international environment and has brought me together with professionals from very different countries. This has taught me to understand and appreciate multicultural diversity, but also to comprehend the nuances of different legal systems of the world.

What motivates me most is a firm belief in the ICC – the only permanent institution to bring justice to the victims of most horrible crimes. There is a need that this Court is efficient, expedient, and visible, because only so can it fulfil its mandate. Court is an indispensable part of the multilateral system based on international law. It is vital to uphold this system.

Thank you!

ICC: ASP22 – election of judges: Roundtables

Closing statement of Mr Andres Parmas (Estonia)

7 November 2023, New York

I would like to thank the Moderators for skillfully navigating the roundtables and my fellow candidates for a most stimulating exchange. I would also like to thank the representatives of the civil society, for their active participation.

Martin Luther King once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

My interest in international criminal law comes from my own background, as I have witnessed the horrors of a totalitarian regime myself.

The ICC was created with a great promise to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of egregious crimes, but also to bring justice to the victims. These promises remain only to be fulfilled. To achieve it, the ICC must include more states, to universalise. The proceedings at the Court must be fair, expedient, and professional and to lead to consistent and just case law.

I hope that today’s roundtable discussions have proven that I am suitable and fit to become a judge of the ICC and have made it easier for States Parties to render their merit-based decision when electing the 6 new judges. I am eager to contribute to this great undertaking of justice of our time and to help to make it work as expected by the international community.

It has been a privilege to answer to your questions today. Thank you!

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