with introductory remarks by
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at 6.30 p.m.
CYRUS R. VANCE, JR.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR NEW YORK COUNTY
at the House of the Bar Association
42 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Ms. Fatou Bensouda was elected chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on December 12, 2011, and sworn in on June 15, 2012. A native of The Gambia, she is only the second chief prosecutor of the ICC, and the first woman and the first African to serve in that position. Ms. Bensouda will speak about her priorities as chief prosecutor and about some of the challenges currently facing the Court.
The ICC was created by the Rome Statute, which came into force in 2002, to prosecute individuals for large-scale, systematic atrocities: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and (starting in 2017) crimes of aggression when states are unable or unwilling to do so. Currently 122 nations are parties to the Rome Statute. The Court is currently conducting investigations in eight countries and has opened preliminary inquiries in several others.
Before becoming chief prosecutor at the ICC, Ms. Bensouda served as Deputy Prosecutor under the first Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, and, before that, as the Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. She also served for a time as General Manager of a leading commercial bank in The Gambia. Between 1987 and 2000, she held several posts in the government of The Gambia, including Solicitor General and Legal Secretary and Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in which capacity she served as Chief Legal Advisor to the President and Cabinet of The Gambia. An expert in maritime law, Ms. Bensouda holds a Masters Degree in International Maritime Law and Law of the Sea.