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Ugandan Judge Suzan Okalany Shortlisted for ICC Chief Prosecutor Job

The committee chaired by Sabine Nölke reports to the President of the Assembly that due to COVID-19, an online interaction was conducted and of the 144 candidates who submitted applications for the job, only 89 candidates submitted supporting documents and now a final four have been shortlisted.
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A Judge of the International Crimes Division (ICD), Suzan Okalany has been shortlisted for the job of Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Okalany who has been a judge in the International Criminal Division of that Court since 2016 has been shortlisted together with three other candidates.

She served in the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in various roles and responsibilities including as Head of the Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences and as lead prosecutor on the Kampala bombings case. Okalany Speaks English, Ateso, Swahili, Luganda and Luo.  

According to a report of the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor to the President of the ICC Assembly, the committee submitted four names as the top candidates for the ICC job after a total of 144 candidates worldwide submitted applications to fill the post currently occupied by Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer whose contract expires on 15th June 2021.

The committee sought for a candidate with extensive and proven practical experience as a prosecutor in the investigations, trials and appeals of complex criminal cases with a proven record of independence and impartiality and commitment to upholding justice, accountability and human rights.

Other qualifications needed for the job are an in-depth knowledge of national or international criminal law and procedure, international humanitarian law and public international law, and must possess the competencies and skills to the highest standard, including more than 15 years of progressively responsible experience in criminal law practice, whether at a national or international level.

Others shortlisted alongside Okalany are; Morris A. Anyah from Nigeria who is a trial attorney in Chicago, U.S.A,  Fergal Gaynor from Ireland who currently serves as the Reserve International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and Richard Roy from Canada who is currently Senior General Counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

The committee chaired by Sabine Nölke reports to the President of the Assembly that due to COVID-19, an online interaction was conducted and of the 144 candidates who submitted applications for the job, only 89 candidates submitted supporting documents and now the final four have been shortlisted.

According to the committee Suzan Okalany has forged an impressive career under challenging circumstances, steered by a clear vision of the rule of law and justice for victims and a strong streak of independence in the face of political pressure and traditional gender roles.

Sabine in her report indicates that in the interview with Okalany, she provided candid and thoughtful responses from the perspective of a situation country; an evident openness to learning and adapting; and resilience in the face of pressure.

"Although her prosecutorial and judicial experience is limited to the domestic arena, her experience in prosecuting atrocity crimes and addressing sexual and gender-based violence are highly germane to the substance of the Court's work. Like other candidates, her managerial experience is limited to smaller teams, but she demonstrated a clear understanding of the competencies required, including financial stewardship, as well as a proven track record of embracing new challenges.” Sabine’s report indicates.

The shortlist which will now be followed by a consultation process to be undertaken thereafter, led by the President of the Assembly, to identify a consensus candidate.

The ICC Prosecutor takes home 173,000 Euros annual which is equivalent to 730 million Ugandan shillings.

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