Today the BBC reports that the four 21/7 bomb plotters get life. The judge of the aforementioned trial, Mr Justice Fulford QC, is also a judge on the bench of the first trial at the ICC. The conclusion of the trial concening the 21/7 bomb plotters means that Judge Fulford is now one step closer to The Hague.
In its decision on the 6 March of 2007 the ICC presidency constituted Trial Chamber I of which Judge Fulford is one of the members and through the decision on 5 June 2007 the presidency transferred the full records of the proceedings of the first case to Trial Chamber I. Since then it has been unclear when Judge Fulford would be available to come to The Hague in order for Trial Chamber I to elect the Presiding judge of the first trial at the ICC and start its work.
The fact that the first trial has not yet commenced is already a point of criticism. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo has been in detention in The Hague since 17 March 2006 and the pre-trial proceedings have developed into a mini-trial.
The Judges of Trial Chamber I will among themselves elect the Presiding Judge. The other Judges of Trial Chamber I both have significant experiences and merits. Judge Benito is Professor Emeritus at the University of Costa Rica and was once Vice-President of the ICTY. Judge Blattman has been professor of criminal and international law, now acting as second Vice-President of the ICC. To Judge Fulfords advantage speaks his extensive experience as a trial judge.