This week, the world lost one of the true giants of international justice.
On 21 July, former ICC Judge Hans-Peter Kaul passed away. He had been suffering from a serious illness that led him to resign from the ICC bench on 1 July.
Kaul will be remembered for his courageous and principled advocacy for the strongest and most effective and independent ICC in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998. He was one of the first ICC judges and he continued to enthusiastically support the adoption of the Kampala amendments, especially on the crime of aggression.
Kaul was also a great supporter of the Coalition for the ICC, and his two daughters served as interns with the Coalition.
Upon receiving news of Kaul’s illness and impending resignation, Coalition Convenor William Pace sent a personal letter to Kaul, his wife and daughters expressing both condolences and gratitude for Kaul’s lifetime of work in support of international justice and his extraordinary contributions to the adoption of the Rome Statute.
Kaul was a member of the German delegation to the Rome Conference in 1998, at which the ICC Rome Statute was adopted.
Kaul was elected as an ICC judge at the Court’s first judicial elections in February 2003 and was re-elected by states parties in 2006. He served until his resignation earlier this month.
From 2009 to 2012, Kaul served as the Court’s second vice-president.
The Global Campaign for Ratification and Implementation of the Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression eulogized Kaul this week, noting his unwavering support for the inclusion and activation of the crime of aggression in the Rome Statute.
The foreign minister of Germany expressed his sadness at Kaul’s passing and noted his contributions to the ICC.