Andres Parmas sets out his ICC candidacy standpoints before UN

Prosecutor General Andres Parmas presenting his ICC judge candidacy before the UN in November 2023.
Prosecutor General Andres Parmas presenting his ICC judge candidacy before the UN in November 2023. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prosecutor General Andres Parmas presented his standpoints at a round table held at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, a part of his application to become an International Criminal Court (ICC) judge.

Parmas, who has been prosecutor general since the start of 2020, presented a five-point platform in support of his candidacy for the post, which were he to get it would run for the period 2024-2032.

Parmas first point was to highlight that he has more than 20 years of experience working within the justice systems at home in Estonia and under international jurisdictions, adding that he also has experience in prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In his next point he emphasized that in his current post as the Prosecutor General he has been focusing on the implementation of the restorative.

Third, Parmas noted that having been elected Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims in 2021, he has since accrued an excellent understanding of the work of the ICC.

Fourth, he considered that his academic background and long-term work as a lecturer should contribute to his activities as an ICC judge.

The fourth and fifth points concerned his relevant academic background and lecturing work, and his stints in various other international positions of note.

Fifthly, Parmas emphasized that his several international positions should have prepared him for work at the International Criminal Court.

Parmas added that his motivation also derives from the fact that the ICC is the only permanent institution which deals with the victims of the most heinous crimes that there are

This also means its role is crucial, he said.

"This court must remain effective, expedient and visible, because that is the only way it can disburse its tasks effectively. The ICC is an indispensable part of the multi-lateral system, based in international law. Preserving this system is crucial."

In his closing remarks, Parmas also cited the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Injustice in one place is a threat to justice everywhere."

Parmas, 46, added his interest in international criminal law stems from his own background, having himself witnessed the horrors of a totalitarian regime, ie. the Soviet Union, in action.

Prior to that appointment as prosecutor general, after Lavly Perling's term finished, he had been a judge at the second-tier Tallinn Circuit Court, from July 2014.

His current five-year term as prosecutor general started on February 3, 2020, having been approved the previous month.

Parmas, was nominated to the ICC judge post in March this year.

As a small country, the contribution of Estonia's talents to international bodies like the ICC is invaluable. Estonia held a UN Security Council non-permanent seat 2020-2021, while former president Kersti Kaljulaid ran as a candidate for director general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at around the same time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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