S.A. (Silvia) Fernández de Gurmendi

foto S.A. (Silvia) Fernández de Gurmendi vergrootglas

Judge Fernández de Gurmendi is president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since March 2015, having served as judge at the ICC since 2010. Judge Fernández de Gurmendi is actively pursuing an agenda to streamline procedures at the ICC in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the ICC.

After attaining a doctorate in international criminal law Judge Fernández de Gurmendi worked at the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and quickly moved to the permanent mission at the UN. She went on to fulfill an important role in drafting the Statutes of the ICC and setting up some of the procedures to be used at the ICC. In 2003 she left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become advisor to the Court's first Prosecutor. In 2006 she came back to the ministry to serve as director for human rights before returning to the ICC in 2010.


Personal data

Name and surname

Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi

Date of birth

24th of October 1954

Place of birth

Córdoba Province, Argentina




Law (graduate), University of Córdoba, Argentina

Law (master), University of Limoges, France

Law (doctorate), University of Buenos Aires, Argentina



  • Trainee diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina from 1987 to 1988
  • Legal officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina from 1989 to 1994
  • Legal advisor, Argentinian Permanent Mission to the UN from 1994 to 2000
  • Various positions including deputy-director-general human rights (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina), Advisor to the Argentine minister of justice from 2000 to 2003
  • Special Advisor and Director, Office of the Prosecutor International Criminal Court from 2003 to 2006
  • Director-general human rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to January 20th 2010
  • Judge at the International Criminal Court, since January 20th 2010; president of the International Criminal Court since March 11th 2015 (the term for a judge is nine years, for the presidency three years)

Selected honoraries and functions (former)

  • Vice-president of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on the establishment of an ICC, 1995
  • President of the Working Group on Criminal Procedure, from 1995 to 1998
  • Vice-president of the UN Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an ICC from 1996 to 1998
  • President of the Working Group on Rules of Procedure and Evidence from 1998 to 2000
  • President Working Group on Aggression of the Preparatory Commission for the ICC from 2001 to 2002
  • President of International Group of Experts of Mercenaries for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Legal counsel to and member of the Argentinian commission of experts to implement the ICC's statute on the national level
  • Representative of Argentina in cases before the Inter American Commission of Human Rights and the Inter American Court of Justice

Academic postings

  • Assistant professor of international criminal law, University of Buenos Aires
  • Professor of international criminal law, University of Palermo
  • Professor international criminal law, University of Buenos Aires


Selected references and statements

Selected books and publications by Judge Fernández de Gurmendi

"El acceso de las víctimas a la Corte Penal Internacional" (article, 2002)

"The International Criminal Court and the Crime of Aggression: From the Preparatory Commission to the Assembly of States Parties and Beyond: An insider’s view" (book contribution, 2004)

"Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Regulations of the International Criminal Court" (co-authored book contribution, 2009)

Judge Fernández de Gurmendi has written many contributions to the field of international criminal law, most notably on various issues regarding the International Criminal Court

Comments and achievements

  • It has been noted Judge Fernández de Gurmendi has regularly issued partially dissenting or dissenting opinions in cases before the International Criminal Court. Of particular interest was her opposition to opening investigations in Ivory Coast (although later, when after investigations charges were put to the court, Judge Fernández de Gurmendi did confirm those charges).
  • As president of the Court, Judge Fernández de Gurmendi reopened hearings on whether or not to take action against Kenya over allegations it obstructed investigations into its president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
  • In an interview in 2016 mentioned one of the main reasons to stand for the presidency was to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Court's proceedings. One example of such a measure was the introduction of the Pre-Trial Manual.
  • In an interview made note of the problems UN Security Council referral's posed for the ICC due to the different pace of politics and the judicial system, insufficient allocation of budget to such investigations and because of issues of jurisdiction with countries the Security Council wanted to be investigated were not party to the ICC.