Defensor Santiago elected judge of war crimes court

'Justice delayed…'

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was elected December 12 as judge of the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes war crimes, genocide and other crimes against humanity. The elections were held at the United Nations.

The election makes her the first female lawyer from Asia to join the ICC as judge, said a statement from the Philippine Mission to the UN.

Defensor-Santiago topped the first round of elections with 79 out of 104 votes. To be elected, candidates had to receive 2/3 majority of the total votes cast. She was the first to be elected out of 18 candidates vying for six seats on the court.

“Professor Miriam Defensor Santiago’s triumph is a victory for the entire Philippines and a demonstration of the international community’s complete faith and confidence in her outstanding abilities and of the country’s commitment to the global fight against impunity,” said Philippine Permanent Representative Libran N. Cabactulan in a statement.

She is “eminently qualified,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. “She has shown competence and commitment in defense of the rule of law. She has demonstrated her intelligence and legal acumen through her decisions that have been cited by the Philippine Supreme Court. She has shown independence and integrity in her actions.”

In her remarks during her campaign, Defensor Santiago said she is passionate about what the International Criminal Court should be doing. “I believe that justice delayed is justice denied, so this is one area that the court should work on,” she said.

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