Fatou Bensouda to be sworn-in as ICC chief prosecutor today
Friday, June 15, 2012
born Fatou Bom Bensouda will today, Friday , June 15th, 2012 be sworn-in
asthe new chief prosecutorofthe International Criminal Court (ICC) Shereplacesthe Argentine-born Luis Moreno Ocampo who after nine years
in charge reaches the end of his term as chief prosecutor of the ICC.
from Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday indicated that the swearing in of the
new ICC prosecutor comes at a time when expectations for international justice
Born in Banjul in 1961, Fatou Bensouda obtained her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Ife in Nigeria. She later acquired Barrister-at-Law (BL) from the Nigeria Law School.She became her country’s first expert in international maritime law after after acquiring a Master of Laws from the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta.
Married to a Moroccan-born Gambian tycoon and blessed with two children,Bensouda is a former Attorney General and minister of Justice of The Gambiaand lawyer in the Gambia Bar Association. Since 2004 she has been a deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and in December 2011 became the choice of consensus to replace Ocampo as chief prosecutor.
According to HRW, Bensouda succeeds Ocampo at a time when the ICC is saddled with an already sizeable caseload.The office has opened investigations in seven countries and is conducting preliminary examinations to determine whether to open an investigation in at least seven other countries.The transition in leadership nearly coincides with the 10th anniversary of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, on July 1.
Moreno Ocampo has been involved in the investigation of cases including the Democratic Republic Congo, Uganda, the CAR, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, the Darfur region of Sudan, and Libya. The latter two referred to the court by the United Nations Security Council. Preliminary examinations concern Guinea, Colombia, Afghanistan, Georgia, Honduras, Nigeria, and South Korea – for acts committed by North Korea on South Korea's territory.
“In Syria and other strife-torn countries over the past 10 years, the ICC has come to symbolize the last, best hope for justice,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “We look to Bensouda’s leadership to advance cases, build bridges with victims, and push countries to support its impartial application of the law to get the job done” he added.
Among Bensouda’s many difficult tasks will be bringing new prosecutions in country situations already before the ICC, while remaining responsive to demands in new country situations, Human Rights Watch observed.
The court’s successes have led some countries to seek to use it for political ends rather than to support its independent, judicial mandate, HRW added.“Some governments seem to think that the ICC is a light switch that can be turned off when justice becomes inconvenient,” Dicker said. “Bensouda can push back against those seeking to politicize the court by signaling a clear commitment to delivering justice in the courtroom” he added.
Author: Daily Observer