The Court is an independent institution. The Court is not part of the United Nations, but it maintains a cooperative relationship with the U.N. The Court is based in The Hague, the Netherlands, although it may also sit elsewhere.
The Court is composed of four organs. These are the Presidency, the judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry.
- Judicial Divisions
- Office of the Prosecutor
- Other Offices
The Presidency is responsible for the overall administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor, and for specific functions assigned to the Presidency in accordance with the Statute. The Presidency is composed of three judges of the Court, elected to the Presidency by their fellow judges, for a term of three years. The President of the Court is Judge Sang-Hyun Song (Republic of Korea). Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana) is First Vice-President, and Judge Cuno Tarfusser (Italy) is Second Vice-President.
The Judicial Divisions consist of eighteen judges organized into the Pre-Trial Division, the Trial Division and the Appeals Division. The judges of each Division sit in Chambers which are responsible for conducting the proceedings of the Court at different stages. Assignment of judges to Divisions is made on the basis of the nature of the functions each Division performs and the qualifications and experience of the judge. This is done in a manner ensuring that each Division benefits from an appropriate combination of expertise in criminal law and procedure and international law. The judges of the Court are: Sang-Hyun Song (Republic of Korea), Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana), Cuno Tarfusser (Italy), Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany), Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana), Erkki Kourula (Finland), Anita Ušacka (Latvia), Ekaterina Trendafilova (Bulgaria), Joyce Aluoch (Kenya), Christine van den Wyngaert (Belgium), Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina), Kuniko Ozaki (Japan), Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Philippines), Howard Morrison (United Kingdom), Anthony T. Carmona (Trinidad and Tobago), Olga Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic), Robert Fremr (Czech Republic) and Chile Eboe-Osuji (Nigeria).
The following judges are continuing in office to complete their trials, in accordance with article 36(10) of the Rome Statute:
- Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica)
- Judge René Blattmann (Bolivia)
- Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra (Mali)
- Judge Sir Adrian Fulford (United Kingdom)
- Judge Sylvia Steiner (Brazil)
- Judge Bruno Cotte (France)
Office of the Prosecutor
The Office of the Prosecutor is responsible for receiving referrals and any substantiated information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, for examining them and for conducting investigations and prosecutions before the Court. The Office is headed by the Prosecutor, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda (The Gambia), who was elected by the States Parties for a term of nine years.
She is assisted by Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart who is in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the Office of the Prosecutor.
The Registry is responsible for the non-judicial aspects of the administration and servicing of the Court. The Registry is headed by the Registrar who is the principal administrative officer of the Court. The Registrar exercises his or her functions under the authority of the President of the Court. The current Registrar, elected by the judges for a term of five years, is Mr Herman von Hebel (The Netherlands).
The Court also includes a number of semi-autonomous offices such as the Office of Public Counsel for Victims and the Office of Public Counsel for Defence. These Offices fall under the Registry for administrative purposes but otherwise function as wholly independent offices. The Assembly of States Parties has also established a Trust Fund for the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court and the families of these victims.