Bensouda: an African heritage

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inherits a huge caseload and has yet to secure the ICC's first conviction in her first case. When 120 states agreed on 12 December that Bensouda shall succeed Ocampo, the Gambian was "definitely honoured." It was her second present before the close of the year. With the recent arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, Bensouda already reaped the benefits of the investigations she led in Ivory Coast. It may be the ICC's first `presidential case', but she faces a huge task in preparing for the confirmation of charges hearings next June. While Africa has been the main playground of international justice so far and the ICC its main theatre of justice, the Assembly of States Parties stated there was "pervasive sentiment that the next prosecutor should come from Africa". Bensouda was chosen from a list of 52 potential candidates. Almost half of them were from Africa.

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