Former Judge of the High Court of Uganda, Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa has been elected as Judge of the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC).
Justice Balungi, 56, was nominated by Uganda for ICC judicial elections and campaigned on grounds of her vast experience and passion for international criminal justice.
She was among 12 candidates vying for six spots to become ICC judges in 2017, and one of the four candidates from Africa.
Other candidates came from Lesotho, Croatia, Mongolia, Benin, Japan, Bosnia, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, Ghana and Italy all of which are ICC member states.
The election follows the Court’s regular judicial elections process, which replaces a third of the 18 judges’ bench every three years.
The new judges will serve a nine-year term from March 2018.
A career judge with twenty years’ judicial experience, Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa has served as Judge with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) between 2003 and 2013, and was previously Judge of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (UNMICT) since 2012.
Balungi also served as Judge with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“My experience with both the UNICTR and UNMICT has deepened my interest, knowledge and skills in international criminal law and procedure as well as judicial practice,” Justice Balungi stated in her election questionnaire when she took on the candidature for ICC Judge.
She added; “I aspire to use both to contribute to bringing those individuals that may have committed grave crime to account for their actions and to bring justice to the victims of such crimes”.
During her tenure at UNMICT, she dealt with the substance and elements of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, which is perhaps why she emerged as best candidate.
Uganda’s Ambassador to the U.N Adonia Ayebare tweeted; “Glad to announce the election of Justice Barungi Bosa of Uganda as Judge of the ICC. Thank you team Uganda”.
The accomplished judicial officer is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, the international Association of Women Judges, the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights and the East African Judges and Magistrate’s Association.
Justice Balungi has received various national, regional and inter-national awards in recognition of her distinguished services as a legal practitioner, judge and human rights activist.