UGANDA: Adventist Elected Judge of International Criminal Court
Daniel D. Ntanda Nsereko of Uganda was elected one of the 18 judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, Netherlands. He was sworn in as a judge January 17.
The ICC was established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was adopted in Rome, Italy, in 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. The Rome Statute is an international treaty binding only those states that formally express their consent to be bound as “parties” to the statute. The statute came into force July 1, 2002, once 60 states had become parties. Parties today number 105.
JUDICIAL MEETING: Daniel D. Ntanda Nsereko, right, a Ugandan Seventh-day Adventist and a widely respected law professor in Africa, is now a judge of the International Criminal Court. During a recent visit to the world church headquarters, Nsereko met with Robert Kyte, general counsel for the Seventh-day Adventist world church.The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
At the time of his election to the ICC, Nsereko was a professor of law at the University of Botswana, where he had also served as head of the Department of Law. He was nominated to the ICC by the government of Uganda and endorsed by the African Union.
Nsereko holds Doctor of Judicial Science (1975) and Master of Laws (1971) degrees from New York University School of Law, a Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (1970) from the Howard University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Laws (1968) from the University of East Africa (Dar Es Salaam).
As a young lawyer, Nsereko practiced in Uganda and as a trial lawyer represented clients in both criminal and civil cases. Prior to his election as judge, he was admitted to the ICC bar as counsel entitled to represent both the accused and victims before the court. He also researched and published several books and many peer-refereed journal articles on international and criminal law, human rights, and related subjects in Africa, India, Europe, and North America. For more than a quarter of a century he taught these subjects at the university level.
Nsereko has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg, Germany), visiting scholar at the Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at the University of Cologne in Germany, and Walter S. Owen visiting professor of Law at the University of British Columbia, Canada. In 1996 the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law awarded him a medal in recognition of his contribution to international human rights and criminal law reform.
In Botswana Nsereko and his wife, Helen, are members of the Broadhurst Seventh-day Adventist Church, where he has served as an elder, Sabbath school teacher, and director of Christian education. They have five children—four sons and a daughter.
—by Robert W. Nixon, retired general counsel of the Seventh-day Adventist world church