NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – Justice Joyce Aluoch has been elected to serve as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, becoming the first Kenyan to hold such an office.
She was elected at the first resumption of the Seventh session of the ICC’s Assembly of State Parties.
Justice Aluoch was one of two Africans elected in New York, out of six appointees. The other is Monageng Sanji Mmasenono from Botswana.
Other appointees to the court are Shahabuddeen Mohamed of Guyana, Saiga Fumiko (Japan), Tarfusser Cuno (Italy) and Van Den Wyngaert Christine (Belgium).
Justice Aluoch was appointed as Kenya’s parliament reconvened two months early to avoid a process which would send the perpetrators of the post eection violence for trial before the ICC.
The House was to create a legislative framework for the establishment of a local tribunal to try post-election offenders.
The Government nominated the Appellate Judge to be on the ICC panel last October. Her statement of qualifications cited her position as the most senior female judge in the Kenyan Judiciary.
She has served with distinction for over 30 years as a Trial Judge in the High Court.
"Justice Aluoch is experienced in criminal law and procedure. She served as magistrate overseeing a Juvenile Court and adjudicating juvenile delinquency cases; later as resident magistrate and senior resident magistrate presiding over criminal cases; thereafter, as a High Court Judge exercising both original and appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases and as a Court of Appeal judge exercising appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil appeals from the High Court," the statement read.
In the area of human rights, Justice Aluoch has served two terms on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child as well as one term on a similar African Union panel.
"In all of these international and regional assignments, she has acted in leadership roles as vice-chairperson and chairperson respectively of the committees. Her knowledge and work on children’s rights facilitated her appointment as judge to the International Tribunal for Children’s Rights in Canada," the government’s seconding said.
At the national level, she was instrumental in the setting Family Division of the High Court of Kenya and most recently chaired the Task Force responsible for operationalising the Sexual Offences Act.
"She has chaired judicial committees that have revised the rules of practice in Family Law to facilitate speedy trials. She has also been responsible for the training of judicial officers on relevant international and regional human right instruments."