- By Colum LynchColum Lynch is Foreign Policy’s award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. He previously wrote FP’s Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He was also the silver medal recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for a three-part series documenting the U.N.’s systemic failure to protect civilians in Darfur, Sudan. Colum’s investigations have uncovered an American spy operation in Iraq, Russia’s monopoly of the $1 billion-a-year U.N. aircraft leasing market, and a Chinese diplomatic campaign to silence U.N. investigators scrutinizing Chinese arms deals in Africa. His deep digs into the U.N. bureaucracy have exposed sexual misconduct by U.N. blue helmets from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and documented monumental dysfunction in the U.N. office charged with rooting out misconduct and corruption. He now devotes his reporting chops to documenting President Donald Trump’s efforts to reorder the international system. Born in Los Angeles, Colum received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. Before moving to FP, Colum reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. He has appeared frequently on national news programs, including the Lehrer NewsHour, as well as on MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.
Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian judge who serves as the International Criminal Court’s deputy prosecutor, has been selected to lead the Hague-based tribunal, according to several diplomats familiar with the contest.
Christian Wenawaser, Liechtenstein’s U.N. ambassador and president of the assembly of states parties to the ICC, is expected to inform a gathering of the 118-member states of the ICC treaty that Bensouda emerged today as the consensus candidate for the job.
Bensouda will replace her current boss, the Argentine lawyer Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who is scheduled to step down in the summer of 2012.
The decision follows a lengthy search process that involved more than 50 candidates for the world’s most high profile international law post.
The search committee, including representatives from five regional groups, had narrowed the list down to four candidates, including Bensouda; Andrew Cayley, a British lawyer and co-prosecutor at the Cambodian tribunal; Robert Petit, a French Canadian counsel with the war crimes section of the Canadian Department of Justice; and Mohamed Chande Othman, the Tanzanian chief justice.
But Wenaweser told the membership on Nov. 23 that it would only be possible to reach consensus on an African candidate and that the field had been narrowed to two African candidates. Othman agreed to pull out of the race today, clearing the way for Bensouda, said diplomats. More details to come.
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