|Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court|
15 June 2012
Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi
|Preceded by||Luis Moreno Ocampo|
|Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court|
8 September 2004 – 15 June 2012
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||James Stewart|
|Minister of Justice
|Preceded by||Hawa Sisay-Sabally|
|Succeeded by||Pap Cheyassin Secka|
31 January 1961
|Alma mater||University of Ife
Nigerian Law School
International Maritime Law Institute
She has been the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor since June 2012, after having served as a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the ICC since 2004 and having been minister of justice of The Gambia. She has held positions of Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Early life and education
Born on 31 January 1961 in Banjul (then Bathurst), the Gambia, Bensouda is the daughter of Omar Gaye Nyang, was a government driver and the country's most prominent wrestling promoter. She attended primary and secondary school in the Gambia before leaving in 1982 for Nigeria where she graduated from the University of Ife with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree in 1986. The following year, she obtained her Barrister-at-Law (BL) professional qualification from the Nigeria Law School. She later became the Gambia's first expert in international maritime law after earning a master of laws from the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta.
Functions under the regime of Dawda Jawara and Yahya Jammeh
Fatou Bensouda was appointed as state counsel in 1987 and deputy director of public prosecutions in February 1994 for Jawara's government. She played a central role in the early years of Gambian president Yahya Jammeh's regime, being chosen as his solicitor general and legal adviser after his 1994 putsch in 1996, before becoming his Minister of Justice in August 1998 and "being sacked" in March 2000. Jammeh's rule has been recurrently denounced for its disrespect of human rights, being considered as one of the "worst dictatorships in the world". She was praised by rights groups for her speedy prosecution of offenses against women and children.
International criminal prosecutor and legal adviser
Bensouda’s international career as a non-government civil servant formally began at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where she worked as a Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney before rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit (May 2002 to August 2004). On 8 August 2004, she was elected as Deputy Prosecutor (Prosecutions) with an overwhelming majority of votes by the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court. On 1 November 2004, Bensouda was sworn into Office as Deputy Prosecutor (Prosecutions).
On 1 December 2011, the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC announced that an informal agreement had been reached to make Bensouda the consensus choice to succeed Luis Moreno-Ocampo as Prosecutor of the ICC. She was formally elected by consensus on 12 December 2011. Her term as prosecutor began on 15 June 2012.
According to an Associated Press report on November 6, 2015, Bensouda found that war crimes may have been committed on the Mavi Marmara ship in 2010, where eight unarmed Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other activists were wounded by Israeli commandos, but she ruled the case was not serious enough to merit an International Criminal Court probe.
Awards and honours
Bensouda has been the recipient of various awards, most notably, the distinguished ICJ International Jurists Award (2009), which was presented by President of India P. D. Patil. Bensouda was given this award for her contributions to criminal law both at the national and International level. Bensouda has also been awarded the 2011 World Peace Through Law Award presented by the Whitney Harris World Law Institute, Washington University, which recognized her work in considerably advancing the rule of law and thereby contributing to world peace.
Time magazine listed Bensouda among the 100 most influential people in the world in its annual Time 100 issue, noting her role as a "leading voice pressing governments to support the quest for justice".
- The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court: Successes, Challenges and the Promise of International Criminal Justice in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- TALAL ALHAJ (15 December 2011). "ICC's new prosecutor on Arab conflicts, how Islam plays a role in guiding her and her vision for the international court". AL ARABIYA. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Gambia's Fatou Bensouda sworn in as ICC prosecutor". BBC News. 15 June 2012.
- Farouk Chothia, "Africa's Fatou Bensouda is new ICC chief prosecutor", BBC News, 2011-12-12.
- Perfect, David (2016). Historical Dictionary of The Gambia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-1-4422-6526-4.
- Mike Gitau. "The Essence of Fatou Bensouda". Nairobi Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Farouk Chothia (12 December 2011). "Africa's Fatou Bensouda is new ICC chief prosecutor". BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Africa's Fatou Bensouda is new ICC chief prosecutor - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
- "President Yahya Jammeh: The Worst Dictator You've Never Heard Of". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
- "Gambia's president tells gays: 'Do it here I will slit your throat'". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
- Akyeampong, Emmanuel Kwaku; Gates, Henry Louis (2012). Dictionary of African Biography. OUP USA. pp. 436–. ISBN 978-0-19-538207-5.
- "Fatou Bensouda in Line to Become Next International Criminal Court Prosecutor", Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Media Advisory, 2011-12-01.
- "ICC Repeats Prosecutor Has to Reconsider Gaza Flotilla Probe". AP. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2017 – via The New York Times.
- "Gambia's Fatou Bensouda Receives Int Jurists Award". The Point. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- "World Peace Through Law Award". Washington University Law. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Roth, Kenneth (18 April 2012). "The World's 100 Most Influential People: 2012: Fatou Bensouda". Time Magazine. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Jeune Afrique, No. 2450-2451, 26 Dec 2010 – 8 Jan 2011.
- Jeune Afrique, No. 2607-2608, 23 Dec 2007 – 5 Jan 2008.
- Africa Top Success Awards: Votez pour l’Africaine de l’année 2014 Africa Top Success
- Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
|Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia
Pap Cheyassin Secka
Luis Moreno Ocampo
|Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court