President and Chief Judge, International Criminal Court
- What is the ICC? (0:36) Audio Video
- Who does the court have jurisdiction over? (0:34) Audio Video
- What is the threshold of crimes the court deals with? (0:18) Audio Video
- Why do we need an International Criminal Court? (1:10) Audio Video
- What value did the U.S. delegation have? (0:54) Audio Video
Judge Kirsch is the President of the International Criminal Court. He has extensive experience in the process of the establishment of the International Criminal Court, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
In 1998, Judge Kirsch served as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. He was also Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court (1999–2002).
Judge Kirsch served as Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the International Conference on the Problem of War Victims (1993), Chairman of the Preparatory and Subsequent Intergovernmental Working Groups of Government Experts on the Protection of War Victims (1993, 1995), and Chairman of the Drafting Committee at the 26th and 27th International Conferences of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (1995, 1999). He was Chairman of the Canadian National Committee on Humanitarian Law (1998–1999) and member of the Group of International Advisers to the International Committee of the Red Cross (2000–2003).
He has extensive experience in the development of international criminal law with regard to issues such as terrorism; acts against the safety of maritime navigation; acts of violence at airports serving international civil aviation; safety and security of UN and associated personnel; and the taking of hostages.
He is a member of the Bar of the Province of Quebec and of the Canadian Council on International Law and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1988.