International Criminal Court elects first woman president

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International Criminal Court elects first woman president

Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi (61) of Argentina – first female president of the International Criminal Court

It is symptomatic of the low profile kept by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that even what might be regarded as a landmark event and a positive one too for women – the election of the first female president in its troubled 12-year history – passed with hardly a murmur.

As Judge Sang-Hyun Song (73) of South Korea stepped down earlier this month after six years in the job, he was replaced, not by another man in an institution where male judges outnumber females by 11 to six, but by Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi (61) of Argentina.

The election of Judge Fernandez “marks a significant step forward for the proper representation of women in the top ranks of international justice”, according to Dr Kelly Askin of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

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