By: Onifade Bello A.
A Nigerian, Chile Eboe-Osuji, has been elected the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Netherlands.
In a correspondence made available to the press, the ICC said “the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), sitting in a plenary session, elected Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji (Nigeria) as President of the Court for a three-year term with immediate effect”.
Eboe-Osuji graduated from the University of Calabar in 1985 with a Law Degree (LL.B) and later studied for his master’s degree in law (LL.M) at the McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and a doctorate in law at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Eboe-Osuji had worked for the Special Court for Sierra Leone as senior prosecution appeals counsel between 2007 and 2008 before returning to the ICTR from 2008 to 2010 as Head of Chambers. He also became the Legal Advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in 2010; holding a cross-appointment as the principal prosecution appeals counsel at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in the case of Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia.
Robert Fremr of Czech Republic and Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France were also elected as the first vice-president and the second vice-president respectively by the ICC.
Commenting on his election to the new office, Eboe-Osuji remarked thus, “I am deeply honoured to have been elected by my peers as President of the International Criminal Court. As I take up my duties, I feel encouraged that I am able to rely on the wide experience of the two Vice-Presidents, Judge Robert Fremr and Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, both of whom I have closely worked with previously.”
“I also look forward to collaborating with the Assembly of States Parties, civil society and the international community at large, acting together to strengthen and reinforce the Rome Statute system, the 20th anniversary of the adoption of which we celebrate this year,” he said.
The ICC presidency consists of the President and the two Vice-Presidents, who play key roles of providing strategic leadership to the Court as well as coordinate with other organs in seeking concurrence of the Prosecutor on matters of mutual concern.
In accordance with the Rome Statute, the ICC’s governing treaty, the administration of the Court lies with the Presidency as a core responsibility; with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor.
Overseeing the activities of the Registry and provision of input into a broad range of administrative policies affecting the Court’s overall functioning are also duties of the presidency of the ICC.
Expressing his gratefulness to the previous leadership of the presidency, Eboe-Osuji said, “I am also grateful to the previous President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and Vice-Presidents, Judges Joyce Aluoch and Kuniko Ozaki, for their work and leadership.”