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Justice Sebutinde elected Vice President of International Court of Justice

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Justice Julia Sebutinde has been elected Vice President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). She was elected by her peers for a term of three years.

Sebutinde has been a member of the court since February 2012. Before joining the Court, Vice President Sebutinde was a judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2005 to 2011.

The Presidency is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing administration, judicial and legal matters, and external relations.

She holds a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Edinburgh, U.K., for distinguished service in the field of international justice and human rights; a Master of Laws Degree with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh, U.K.; a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University, Uganda; and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, Uganda.

Certificate in Legislative Drafting, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation; Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies, Haggai Leadership Institute, Singapore; Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Skills, National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno, USA (1997).

She was Judge of the Special Court for Sierra Leone 2005–2011; Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II of the SCSL (2007–2008, 2010–2011), handling several high-profile war crime trials, including the Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor; and Judge of the High Court of Uganda with original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases (1996–2011).

She was Chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Corruption in the Uganda Police Force (1999–2000); Chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Mismanagement in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (2001); Chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) (2002); and Chairperson, Technology Planning Committee of the Uganda Judiciary (1998–2002).

She served as a Legislative Consultant seconded by the Commonwealth Secretariat to the Republic of Namibia responsible for the amendment and replacement of the country’s apartheid laws and training of Namibian legislative drafters (1991–1996); Principal State Attorney and Principal Parliamentary Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Uganda (1978–1990); and Legislative Consultant on the multilateral committees responsible for drafting and amending the treaties establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) (1980–1990); Member of the Uganda Bar and Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda since 1979.

Other positions include: Chancellor of the International Health Sciences University (IHSU), Uganda (2008–2011); Member, the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Drafters (1980–2011); Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (1996–2011); Member, National Association of Women Judges Uganda (NAWJU) (1996–2011); Member, International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) (1996–2011); and Member, Advocates International (AI) (1980–2011).

She represented Uganda Women at the opening of the United Nations Decade for Women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1975); Chairperson, Board of Directors of the Acid Survivors Foundation Uganda (2000–2004); Recipient of the “Good Samaritan Award” at the Congress of Advocates International (2004); the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Uganda British Alumni Association (UBAA) (2006); and a Special Award of the Uganda Law Society in recognition of her “courageous and exemplary contribution to the promotion of justice in Uganda” (2001).

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