Days after she captured headlines and attracted wide spread condemnation over her dissenting Judgement in South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ over its war with Palestine, Ugandan Judge Julia Ssebutinde has been elected by her colleagues at the Hague based Court to lead as its Vice President for the next three years.
Justice Julia Ssebutinde, 69, who has been at the Court since 2012 is the first African woman to sit on the ICJ bench and was elected Vice President along Judge Nawaf Salam from Lebanon as the Court’s new President.
Judge Ssebutinde replaces Judge Kirill Gevorgian in this role while Judge Nawaf replaces Judge Joan Donoghue as President.
As Vice President, Justice Julia Ssebutinde is responsible for performing the Court President’s administrative duties in case of his absence, inability or a vacancy in the position.
The International Court of Justice is the main judicial organ of the United Nations established by the United Nations Charter in 1945 for the stated purpose of settling legal disputes submitted to it by States and between States. And to render advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and agencies.
Justice Julia Ssebutinde shocked the legal community last month when she became a lone wolf in ruling against South Africa’s request for the Court’s order to Israel to provide and undertake emergency and humanitarian assistance and measures in its war with Palestine.
” In my respectful dissenting opinion, the dispute between the state of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one. It is not a legal dispute susceptible to Judicial settlement by the Court” Judge Ssebutinde infamously ruled.
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