Uganda’s Judge Sebutinde Promoted to ICJ Vice-President for Term of Three Years

Summary:

  • Uganda’s Judge Julia Sebutinde, who voted against all emergency measures sought by South Africa against Israel in its assault on Gaza, has been elected Vice President of the International Court of Justice.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the ICJ announced that “Judge Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) was today elected Vice-President of the International Court of Justice by her peers, for a term of three years.”

Sebutinde has been a Member of the Court since February 6, 2012. Before joining the Court, she was a judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2005 to 2011.

The Ugandan government distanced itself from Sebutinde’s vote in the case, saying it does not reflect the country’s position. “Justice Sebutinde ruling at the ICJ does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine,” Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Adonia Ayebare, wrote on X.

Uganda’s support for the plight of the Palestinian people has been expressed through our voting pattern at the United Nations,” Ayebare added.

Sebutinde Rejected Six Measures

The South African government brought the case against Israel on December 29, accusing it of “genocidal acts” in its military assaults on Gaza. The case was heard on January 11 in The Hague.

The ICJ ordered six provisional measures to be taken by Israel, including measures to be implemented to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its ongoing war in Gaza, and to allow the entry of humanitarian aid.

An overwhelming majority of the ICJ’s 17-judge panel voted to order urgent measures, which covered most of South Africa’s request, aside from ordering a halt to the Israeli war on Gaza.

Sebutinde voted against all six measures of the ICJ.

This recent appointment has been met with ire on social media, with one user saying, “The one judge who was criticized the most by the entire world just got a promotion.” Another wrote: “The ICJ really lost a lot of credibility with this selection as VP.”

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Busiinge Aggrey
Busiinge Aggrey
Business Aggrey" is a 23-year-old Ugandan journalist and Editor-in-Chief at The Black Examiner newspaper