The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination's Project on Gender in the Global Community co-sponsored a lecture and discussion, "The Role of the International Criminal Court in the Prevention and Prosecution of Sexual and Gender Based Violence," on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the UN North Lawn Building (CR 1). The featured speaker was Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The event was part of a series of lectures and panels on the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, organized by LISD's Project on Gender in the Global Community, the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and the PeaceWomen Project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
A webcast of the event is available.
The protection of women from acts of conflict related sexual and gender based violence is a cornerstone of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda as well as a key purpose of the International Criminal Court. The fight against impunity as outlined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is an important tool available to prevent sexual and gender based crimes, and the Office of the Chief Prosecutor has played an essential role in advancing this agenda.
Fatou Bensouda was elected Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by the Assembly of States Parties, by consensus, on December 12, 2011, and was sworn in on June 15, 2012. She had previously held the position of ICC Deputy Prosecutor (Prosecutions), having been elected with an overwhelming majority by the Assembly of States Parties in August 2004 and serving as such until May 2012.
Prior to her work at the International Criminal Court, Bensouda worked as Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit. Before joining the ICTR, she was General Manager of a leading commercial bank in Gambia. Between 1987 and 2000, she was successively Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Republic, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in which capacity she served as Chief Legal Advisor to the President and Cabinet of the Republic of The Gambia.
Bensouda also took part in negotiations on the treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Parliament and the ECOWAS Tribunal. She has served as delegate to United Nations conferences on crime prevention, the Organization of African Unity’s Ministerial Meetings on Human Rights, and as delegate of Gambia to the meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court. She holds a masters degree in International Maritime Law and Law of The Sea and as such is the first international maritime law expert of Gambia.