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Judges sworn-in for UN-backed special court for Sierra Leone

Judges sworn-in for UN-backed special court for Sierra Leone

The eight judges making up the United Nations-supported Special Court for Sierra Leone, which has jurisdiction to try individuals responsible for offences committed during the course of the country’s 10-year long civil war, have been sworn in at a ceremony in the capital, Freetown.

The oath of office was administered by the Court's Registrar, Robin Vincent, and overseen by the acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sierra Leone, Behrooz Sadry, who noted that the tribunal's establishment "is the first step on the path to combating impunity and addressing accountability for the serious crimes committed."

"You, as judges of the special court for Sierra Leone offer hope to future generations not only in this country but also in the rest of the world that no more deeds which offend the conscience of humankind will go unpunished." Mr. Sadry told the justices.

Emmanuel O. Ayoola of Nigeria, Pierre Boutet of Canada, Benjamin M. Itoe of Cameroon and Hassan B. Jallow of the Gambia were among the eight judges sworn-in today.

Also taking the oath of office were George Gelga King and Rosolu John Bankole Thompson of Sierra Leone, Geoffrey Robertson of the United Kingdom and Renate Winter of Austria.