Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi

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Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi
Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (cropped).jpg
3rd President of the International Criminal Court
In office
11 March 2015 – 11 March 2018
Preceded bySong Sang-hyun
Succeeded byChile Eboe-Osuji
Judge of the International Criminal Court
Assumed office
20 January 2010
Nominated byArgentina
Personal details
Born (1954-10-24) 24 October 1954 (age 65)
Córdoba Province, Argentina
Alma mater

Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi (born 24 October 1954) is an Argentinian lawyer, diplomat and judge. She has been a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 20 January 2010[1] and President of the ICC from March 2015 to March 2018. She was elected to the presidency for a three-year term and served until March 2018.[2]


Fernández studied law at the universities of Córdoba and Limoges, and earned a doctorate at the University of Buenos Aires.


Fernández trained as a diplomat 1987–1988, and entered the diplomatic service in 1989. In 2006, she became Director General for Human Rights in the Foreign Ministry.

Judge of the International Criminal Court, 2010-present[edit]

Fernández was elected as a judge at the ICC on 18 November 2009. During her time as judge, she regularly issued dissenting or partially dissenting opinions in high-profile cases, including opposing the opening of an ICC investigation in Côte d'Ivoire in 2011.[3] She served as presiding judge when the ICC rejected Libya's request to annul the international arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, ruling that the Libyan government was not yet capable of holding a fair trial by itself and it is obliged under international law to hand him over to the ICC.[4] In 2014, as member of the Pre-Trial Chamber I, she later confirmed four charges of crimes against humanity against former Ivorian minister and youth activist Charles Blé Goudé and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber.[5]

President of the International Criminal Court, 2015-present[edit]

In early 2015, Fernández was elected president of the court for a term of three years. Her two vice-presidents, also appointed for three-year terms, are Joyce Aluoch and Kuniko Ozaki. With the office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court held by Fatou Bensouda, four of the court’s most influential legal positions are held by women.[6]

In August, Fernández decided to reopen a hearing into whether to take action against Kenya over allegations it obstructed investigations into its President Uhuru Kenyatta, arguing that the appeals chamber had failed to properly assess the role of prosecutors and that errors prevented it "from making a conclusive determination".[7]

Other activities[edit]

Fernández is also a visiting professor at American University Washington College of Law's Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Mit Håkan Friman: The rules of procedure and evidence and the regulations of the court. In: Jose Doria (Hrsg.): The legal regime of the International Criminal Court: essays in honour of Professor Igor Blishchenko; in memoriam Professor Igor Pavlovich Blishchenko (1930-2000). Nijhoff, Leiden 2009, ISBN 978-90-04-16308-9, S. 797–824.
  • An insider's view. In: Mauro Politi (Hrsg.): The international criminal court and the crime of aggression. Aldershot, Ashgate 2004, ISBN 0-7546-2362-9, S. 175 ff.
  • Mit Håkan Friman: The rules of procedure and evidence of the International Criminal Court. In: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, Institute for Private and Public International Law, International Commercial Arbitration and European Law: Yearbook of international humanitarian law. Bd. 3, 2000, ISSN 1389-1359, S. 289–336.



External links[edit]

Media related to Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ IICC webpage