Justice Aluoch elected the first African ICC Vice President

justice aluoch
Justice Joyce Aluoch

Kenyan Judge Joyce Aluoch was elected by fellow judges to be the International Criminal Court (ICC) First Vice-President. The former Court of Appeal judge becomes the first African to hold the position.

Justice Aluoch becomes the second African to hold a senior position in the court after Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from Gambia. The elevation of Africans at the ICC comes at a time when the court has been accused by several African leaders of being imperialist and targeting Africans.

Aluoch's appointment also comes at a time when the Deputy President William Ruto is facing trial for 2007 post elections violence. Some of Ruto's co-accused including President Uhuru Kenyatta have since had their charges dropped.

The Second Vice-President position went to Judge Kuniko Ozaki, whom many Kenyans are familiar with since she was the presiding judge during the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Hague-based court.

Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi from Argentina was elected President of the court by a plenary of ICC judges.

"It is a great honour to have been elected President of the International Criminal Court. I will do my utmost to live up to the trust that my fellow judges have placed in me. I look forward to working together with the two Vice-Presidents, Judge Joyce Aluoch and Judge Kuniko Ozaki, and indeed all the judges and other organs of the Court, as well the Assembly of States Parties, civil society and the international community at large, in fulfilling the ICC's important mandate for the sake of justice, peace and the rule of law", President Fernández de Gurmendi stated following the election.

"I also wish to express my deep appreciation of the outstanding contributions that the previous President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, and Vice-Presidents Sanji Mmasenono Monageng and Cuno Tarfusser made during their mandate,"

In accordance with the Rome Statue the Presidency, which consists of the president and the two vice-presidents, is responsible for the proper administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor which is an independent organ.