BY TABU BUTAGIRA(The Daily Monitor)
The Assembly of the State Parties sitting in New York, the United States, on Tuesday elected Justice Solome Bossa, a judge of Uganda’s Court of Appeal, as ICC judge after four rounds of voting.
Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations, says “we worked hard to ensure she is elected in a crowded field of competent candidates”.
The ICC was created by the 2002 Rome Statute to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Africa, Ambassador Ayebare says, presented four candidates that “almost derailed Justice Bossa’s chances” for the six slots available for ICC judges.
Benin’s candidate was elected alongside that of Japan and Peru while Canada, Italy and Ghana remain in the race to snap up the remaining two slots.
Voting will resume after the lunch break underway in New York. And all affirmative criteria such as eligibility by region or gender are expected to be scrapped when representatives of the 193 ICC State Parties reconvene on Tuesday afternoon.
Justice Bossa’s election, according to Ambassador Ayebare, is important since the ICC is the world’s permanent court to adjudicate cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“This victory is a vote of confidence in Uganda’s judiciary and diplomacy at the United Nations,” the envoy says.
Uganda nominated Justice Bossa, whose judicial and legal work spans almost three decades, for being a “highly accomplished judge…at the national, regional and international level,” according to information on the Judiciary website.
“She has considerable exposure and experience in international judicial practice, international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and constitutional law.”
Justice Bossa had also applied for the position of Deputy Chief Justice but missed the interviews in Kampala because she was out of the country campaigning to be a judge of ICC.
She joins Justice Julia Sebutinde, elected as a judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a tight 2011 race, to represent Uganda at two key international courts.
Ambassador Ayebare coordinated Justice Sebutinde’s 2011 election as he has done for Justice Bossa on Tuesday.
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