South Korean elected ICC judge

December 8, 2014
Chung Chang-ho (Yonhap)

Chung Chang-ho (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Chung Chang-ho, a South Korean pre-trial judge in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, has been elected as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), officials at Seoul’s foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Chung, 47, won 73 votes out of 104 to become a judge for the ICC for a term of nine years at a vote held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, they said.

He was one of 17 candidates vying for the posts of six judges whose terms will end in March 2015. Chung was the only one who won enough votes to be elected as an ICC judge in a preliminary vote, they said.

The ICC is an international tribunal that is designed to promote world peace and the protection of human rights. Its jurisdiction covers genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression.

The ICC has a total of 18 judges, and six judges are elected every three years. The international tribunal, located in The Hague, Netherlands, has 122 member states.

Chung served as a judge in South Korea after passing the bar exam in 1990. Since August 2011, he has assumed the post of a judge at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, a special court set up to try those responsible for the Cambodian genocide.

South Korea has become the only country to have two judges at the ICC. Song Sang-hyun has been working as an ICC judge since 2003 and became the president of the ICC in 2009.

This year, the ICC has been under the spotlight as the U.N. General Assembly is poised to pass a resolution on Dec. 18 that calls for the Security Council to refer North Korea’s human rights conditions to the ICC.

The Security Council is expected to take up North Korea’s human rights problem as early as later this month as 10 council members signed a letter calling for the issue to be put on the agenda.