A Ugandan judge, Justice Daniel Ntanda Nsereko has been sworn-in as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Justice Nsereko, Justice Fumiko Saiga from Japan and Justice Bruno Cotte from France were selected by the Assembly of States Parties at the end of 2007 and were sworn-in yesterday at a ceremony at the seat of the Court in The Hague. The three judges each made a public solemn undertaking before the President of the Court, Philippe Kirsch and the other 14 ICC judges.
The president of the Assembly of State Parties, Stagno Ugarte, emphasized the opportunity of the new judges to contribute to the work of the Court at a crucial time. He said they have the distinct opportunity to contribute to the development of the criminal jurisprudence of the Court.i
Ugarte noted that a judge of the International Criminal Court bears a heavy burden. The victims of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court look to the judges to administer justice in situations that have deeply affected and impacted on their lives and their communities. The accused would also expect that their trials would be conducted in a fair, effective and impartial manner. He said that if the Court stands as a permanent beacon of light and of hope, the judges are the bearers of that light and hope to the persons suffering at the hands of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes within its jurisdiction.
A statement from the ICC says judges of the world court are persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity with the qualifications for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their countries. All have extensive experience relevant to the Court's judicial activity and are elected on the basis of their established competence in criminal law and procedure in relevant areas of international law, such as international humanitarian law and the law of human rights.
Judges have judicial expertise in specific issues, including violence against women or children. All are fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court, English and French.
According to his biography posted on the ICC website, Justice Nsereko has more than twenty years of comprehensive experience in criminal law and procedure. As an Advocate, he has been representing defendants in criminal and civil cases before Magistrates' Courts, the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Uganda since 1972. He served as a trial observer to Swaziland in 1990 and to Ethiopia in 1996, writing comprehensive confidential reports in the context of international human rights standards.
From 1983 to 1984, Judge Nsereko served as expert consultant for the Crime Prevention andCriminal Justice Branch of the United Nations Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. He has written extensively on criminal law and procedure, human rights and international humanitarian law. He has been Professor of Law at the University of Botswana since 1996.