Uganda’s Judge Julia Sebutinde, who opposed all of South Africa’s provisional measures in the Gaza case, has been elected Vice President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
According to a press statement released by the ICJ, Sebutinde was elected for a term of three years. She is currently serving her second term on the ICJ.
Sebutinde has recently come under fire for voting against all of South Africa’s provisional measures in the case against Israel at the latter’s genocide hearing.
On January 26th, the ICJ ruled it had jurisdiction to rule in the case filed by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.
The interim ruling issued by the ICJ ordered six provisional measures.
These include for Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts, prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to genocide, and take immediate and effective steps to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.
The ICJ also ordered Israel to preserve evidence of genocide as well as to submit a report to the court within a month regarding its compliance with the order.
A majority of at least 15 out of 17 judges voted in favour of imposing provisional measures to prioritise the lives of civilians in what is now a five-month war on Palestine.
Sebutinde voted against all of the measures. She argued that “the dispute between the State of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one”.
The government of Uganda has since distanced itself on the way Judge Sebutinde ruled on the matter.
“The government categorically clarifies that, the position taken by Judge Sebutinde is her own individual and independent opinion, as is the case with all the judges, in accordance with Article 2 of the ICJ Statute.
“Therefore, her opinion does not in any way, reflect the position of the government of the Republic of Uganda,” reads the statement from the Ugandan government.
Vice President Sebutinde has been a Member of the Court since February 6, 2012. Before joining the ICJ, Sebutinde was a judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2005 to 2011.