Friday, June 15, 2012

AMICC Celebrates the Swearing-In of Fatou Bensouda as the ICC’s New Prosecutor

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda with ASP President Tiina Intelmann
By Stephanie Kammer

This morning Fatou Bensouda made her solemn undertaking as the ICC’s new prosecutor, the Court's second. Ms. Bensouda was elected by the Assembly of States Parties to serve a term of nine years. The ceremony was held in open court, presided over by the President of the Court, President Sang-Hyun Song, and administered by the President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), H.E. Tiina Intelmann.

In her first speech as prosecutor, Ms. Bensouda vowed to continue championing the cause of victims, particularly children and the victims of gender crimes. Ms. Bensouda said that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) will work to find innovative methods of collecting evidence, which ensure prosecution while protecting the victims involved in these sensitive situations.

Ms. Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer, has served as the Court's deputy prosecutor for nearly eight years. Before joining the Court, Ms. Bensouda worked as a legal adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as a prosecutor in Gambia’s Ministry of Justice.

In an interview with Radio Netherlands, when asked about her mentors, Ms. Bensouda mentioned her mother and other women from her community including her sister. She went on to say, “It is important as an African to have girls see that there is a possibility that they can get to here. There’s always the belief that there’s only so much you can achieve coming from Africa and nothing more, like you’ve been given a handout and you should be happy. My example shows that this is not true, that the sky is the limit. There’s no glass ceiling for Africans, for all women actually….”

Indeed, Ms. Bensouda is an inspiration to us all. We congratulate her and look forward to her continuing contributions to global justice.

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