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Judges Sworn-in for Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone


Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2 December 2013

Sixteen Judges Sworn-in for Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone

Sixteen distinguished jurists today were sworn-in as Judges of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, the institution which will succeed the Special Court which closes this month.

Each Judge in turn subscribed to the solemn declaration to “without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, serve as a Judge of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone honestly, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously.” Their declarations were witnessed by Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Franklyn Bai Kargbo on behalf of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and by UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Ten of the Judges were appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and six by the Government of Sierra Leone. The Judges will not serve full time. They will be on a roster, and may be called upon to exercise judicial functions in an ad hoc capacity on matters arising from the ongoing legal obligations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. These could include the review of applications by convicts for early release of SCSL prisoners or judicial review of their convictions. The Judges may also be called upon to preside over any contempt of court proceedings.

Mr. de Serpa Soares hailed the achievements of the Special Court in Outreach and its contributions to international jurisprudence. “You can be very proud of what we have achieved together for the people of this country,” he said. You stood by the people of Sierra Leone in their most desperate hour of need.”

But, Mr. de Serpa Soares told the Judges, the work is not finished.

“You – the men and women Residual Judges of the Special Court have a particular responsibility to carry on the functions of the Special Court and, by doing so, to preserve its legacy.” he said.

The RSCSL Judges include Justice George Gelaga King of Sierra Leone, Justice Rosolu John Bankole Thompson of Sierra Leone, Justice Richard Brunt Lussick of Samoa, Justice Pierre G. Boutet of Canada, Justice Jon Moadeh Kamanda of Sierra Leone, Justice Renate Winter of Austria, Justice Teresa Anne Doherty of Northern Ireland, Justice Shireen Avis Fisher of the United States of America, Justice Philip Nyamu Waki of Kenya, Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya of Uganda, Justice Vivian Margarette Solomon of Sierra Leone, Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm of Sierra Leone, Justice Oagile Bethuel Key Dingake of Botswana, Justice Andrew John Hatton of the United Kingdom, Justice Emmanuel Ekundayo Roberts of Sierra Leone, and Justice Isaac Lenaola of Kenya.


The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone. It is mandated to bring to justice those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996.

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