The new judges were urged to uphold the values of the court and use the court to offer justice to the oppressed
PIC: Bossa has been a human rights activist since 1980. (Courtsey photo)
Former High Court judge Solomy Balungi Bossa was on Friday sworn in as judge of International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands.
Bossa, 52, was sworn in together with five other new judges at a ceremony held at the seat of the Court in The Hague.
Bossa made a solemn undertaking in open court before the President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), O-Gon Kwon.
Bossa, together with judges Luz del Carmen Ibañez Carranza (Peru), Tomoko Akane (Japan), Reine Alapini-Gansou (Benin), Kimberly Prost (Canada) and Rosario Salvatore Aitala (Italy) were elected for nine-year terms during the sixteenth session of the ASP to the Rome Statute in December 2017.
Kwon welcomed the new judges to the Court, urging them to uphold the values of the court and use the court to offer justice to the oppressed.
“Delivering international justice is no easy task; the victims of the most serious international crimes look to these judges to administer justice in situations that have deeply affected their lives and communities,” Kwon said.
He added: “The accused deserve to have trials conducted in a fair, effective and impartial manner. The credibility and legitimacy of the Court will, to a great extent, be reflected in your ability to be fair and impartial judges and your judgements.”
ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi reminded the judges that they join the court challenging time. “In the last years, judges have played a leading role in efforts to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of proceedings and the quality of justice that is delivered. I am confident that such efforts will continue and be enriched by the new ideas and experience of our new colleagues that join the court today,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries and judges of the ICC court, including ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
The International Criminal Court has a bench of 18 judges who are nationals of States Parties to the Rome Statute.
Judges are chosen from among persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices.
The election of the judges takes into account the need for the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, a fair representation of men and women, and equitable geographical distribution.
Who is Bossa?
A career judge, Bossa has twenty years judicial experience. She served as judge with United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda between 2003 and 2013. She has also served as judge of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.
Bossa has also served as judge with African Court on Human and People Rights. Over her 20-year judicial career, Bossa has received several accolades in recognition of her distinguished performance, including human rights.
She is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, International Association of Women judges, the African Centre of Democracy and the East African Judges and Magistrates Association.