KAMPALA. Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa, on Friday took an oath as the judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, Netherlands, making her the second Ugandan to sit on the prestigious Bench after Justice Daniel Nsereko.
Justice Bossa was number two in the pecking order of the solemn undertaking held in Court Room 1 of the ICC.
She was sworn-in along with five other judges who included; Luz del Carmen Ibañez Carranza (from Peru), Tomoko Akane (from Japan), Reine Alapini-Gansou (from Benin), Kimberly Prost (from Canada) and Rosario Salvatore Aitala (from Italy).
To that effect, following their oath taking, the six judges will officially commence their nine-year tenure work on March 11. The event also saw a number of judges of the same court leave after their contracts ended.
The ICC is the world’s permanent court that tries serious offenses ranging from; genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.
The function was also attended by the president of the Assembly of the State parties of the Rome Statute, Mr O-Gon Kwon, the Registrar of the court, Mr Herman von Hebel and the Chief Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda
According to the press statement from the ICC’s Public Affairs Unit, in his brief remarks moments before the oath taking, Mr Kwon welcomed the new judges to the Court.
“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 their communities. 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 judgments,” Mr Kwon advised the new judges.
The ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi stated: “Our six new colleagues join the Court at a very 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,” she added.
Justice Bossa and her five other colleagues, were elected during the sixteenth session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute in December 2017 in the New York City, USA.
Uganda nominated Justice Bossa because of her judicial and legal work that spans almost three decades, for being a highly accomplished judge at the national, regional and international level.
Prior to her appointment to the ICC Bench late last year, Justice Bossa was a judge of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court.