International Criminal Court (ICC) members voted Friday to elect British human rights lawyer and Queen’s Counsel Karim Khan as the court’s next prosecutor, taking over from Fatou Bensouda.
The vote, which took place during the second resumed nineteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties, saw Khan win support from 72 nations, surpassing the 62 votes needed to secure a majority. Khan prevailed over three other candidates vying for the post: Carlos Castresana Fernández from Spain, Francesco Lo Voi from Italy and Fergal Gaynor from Ireland.
Throughout Khan’s law career spanning 28 years, he has represented clients in front of all international or hybrid international courts, most notably as a legal advisor in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), and as lead counsel in the first case before the Extraordinary Courts of the Chambers of Cambodia (the Khmer Rouge Tribunal). He is currently acting as assistant secretary-general of the UN, having been appointed as the first special advisor and head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD).
In a tweet posted on Sunday, Khan thanked member states for the trust and confidence placed in him and said that he looked forward to “work[ing] with all stakeholders to harness our collective efforts to best serve the cause of justice.”
Khan will assume his new post on June 16.