Slovenian elected International Criminal Court judge
Beti Hohler will become the first Slovenian ever to serve as judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC). She was elected by parties to the Rome Statute in the eighth round of voting in New York on 5 December, winning 82 out of 123 votes.
An expert in international criminal law, Hohler currently serves as a trial lawyer for the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor. She is also a member of the ICC Appeals Board.
At 42, she will be the youngest ICC judge ever when she takes office as of next year.
"I'm thrilled about this success and recognition," Hohler told the Slovenian Press Agency after the vote. She thanked the team at the Slovenian mission to the UN for the lobbying effort.
"We had an exceptional candidate, and perhaps it was a bit helpful that we are used to candidacies," said Boštjan Malovrh, Slovenia's ambassador to the UN, in reference to Slovenia recently being elected to the UN Security Council.
"We're pleased that countries trust us ... The effectiveness of diplomacy is measured by specific results. It is not enough just to participate, we have to leverage the opportunities that come our way," he said.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Hohler has extensive experience in complex international criminal cases before international and internationalised courts in different roles.
She has specific expertise in addressing sexual and gender-based violence and violence against and affecting children in armed conflicts.
Hohler also serves as director of training at the Institute for International Legal and Advocacy Training in The Hague and the associate editor of the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts.
She is one of the contributors to the leading Commentary of the Rome Statute in English and regularly trains judges and advocates on international criminal law and advocacy.
The ICC has 18 judges, nine men and nine women, who are elected for nine-year terms. Each country can only have one judge.
Hohler was nominated for the post by the Slovenian president in 2022 and later endorsed by the National Assembly and the government.
Governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, the ICC is the first permanent international criminal court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals responsible for the most serious crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity when parties to the statute cannot or will not prosecute them.
The court can only prosecute crimes in the member states, non-member states that accept the ICC's jurisdiction and non-member states when the ICC gets the jurisdiction from the UN Security Council.
The ICC became operational on 1 July 2002 when the Rome Stature entered into force after being ratified by 66 out of 139 countries.
The statute has so far been ratified by 123 countries, including Slovenia, meaning they recognise its jurisdiction. Countries such as the US, China and Russia are not signatories.