The 193 State Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has elected Justice Solome Balungi Bossa, a member of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights as ICC judge after four rounds of voting, during its sitting in New York, the United States.
Justice Bossa who is a Ugandan Court of Appeal Judge was elected mainly due to the hard work of and lobbying by the team of experts, Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s permanent representative to the United Nations stated.
The ICC was created by the 2002 Rome Statute to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Ambassador Ayebare says, Africa presented four candidates that “almost derailed Justice Bossa’s chances” for the six slots available for ICC judges.
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 said.
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.
A profile of Justice Bossa obtained by the Communication for Development and Advocacy (CDA Consult) indicates that a national of the Republic of Uganda. She was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in June 2014, for a term of six years.
Judge Bossa is a highly accomplished Judge with over 27 years of legal and judicial work experience at national, regional and international level. She has considerable exposure and experience in international judicial practice, international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and constitutional law.
She has served as Judge with the High Court of Uganda for 16 years (1997-2013). The East African Court of Justice for five years (2001-2006), United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) for nine and half years (2003-2013) and currently serves as Judge on the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court for Uganda.
Before joining the Bench, she was a Lecturer/Law Reporter at the Law Development Centre of Uganda for seventeen years (1981-1997).
She has, been a human rights activist since 1980 and has founded/chaired non-profit Organizations in human rights like the East African Law Society.
The East African Centre for Constitutional Development, the Uganda Network on HIV, AIDS, Ethics and the Law, the Uganda Law Society, among others. She has also chaired government bodies like the Law Council and the National Steering Committee on Community Service,
On the international scene, she 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, among others.
At national level, she is a member of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Uganda Chapter, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Uganda Association of Judges and Magistrates.
As a Bar leader, she is well trained on improving access to justice, constitutional and democratic governance, leadership skills, among others.
She contributed significantly towards the establishment of the East African Law Society, the East African Centre for Constitutional Development (Kituo cha Katiba), and the Uganda Network on Law, Ethics, HIV and the Law.
She also participated through the aegis of the International Commission for Jurists, in the initial stages of drafting of the Additional Protocol on Women to the African Charter.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) Honors from Makerere University. She is a candidate for a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) from the University of London. She has received various national, regional and inter-national awards in recognition of her distinguished services as a legal practitioner, judge and human rights activist.
Source: CDA Consult