Uganda’s Judge Sebutinde takes over as ICJ vice-president
Source: BBC, Wednesday February 7, 2024
She was in the spotlight last month over the Gaza war case ruling
Ugandan-born Judge Julia Sebutinde has been elected vice-president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherlands.
The judge recently caused controversy in the international community when she ruled against emergency measures requested by South Africa against Israel over the war in Gaza.
She was the only judge on the 17-member ICJ panel to vote against all six measures adopted by the ICJ court in a ruling ordering Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide as it fights Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
Ms Sebutinde was one of only two judges who issued dissenting judgements while 15 voted for the emergency measures which covered most of what South Africa had asked for in the case.
The Ugandan government distanced itself from the judge’s dissenting opinion, saying it did not represent the East African country’s position in the conflict.
There were many critical comments on social media, with some wondering why she chose not to be more sympathetic to South Africa’s case.
The court announced on Tuesday that Ms Sebutinde was elected vice-president for three years, in what appears to be a major vote of confidence in her.
Lebanon-born judge Nawaf Salam takes over as ICJ judge-president from Joan Donoghue.
Ms Sebutinde has been an ICJ judge for more than a decade. She previously handled several high-profile war crime trials, including the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.