Joyce Aluoch

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Joyce Aluoch
1st Vice-President of the International Criminal Court
In office
March 11, 2015 – 2018
Preceded by Sanji Mmasenono Monageng
Judge of the International Criminal Court
In office
March 11, 2009 – 2018
Nominated by Kenya
Personal details
Alma mater University of Nairobi
Kenya School of Law
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Joyce Aluoch (born 1947) is a Judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. She is a lawyer and former judge of the High Court of Kenya. She is the First Chairperson of the Committee of African Union Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and was the Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2003 to 2009.[1] She has also served as the inaugural head of the family division of the Kenyan High Court and a member of the Court of Appeal.[2]

She has had a pivotal role in negotiations between the African Union and the Government of Sudan to ratify the African charter and secure the rights of children, pursued a fact-finding mission to war-torn northern Uganda on the effects of the war on children, and chaired a task-force aimed at handling sexual offences in Kenya through the implementation of the new Sexual Offences Act, 2006.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Lady Justice Aluoch attended Butere Girls' School for her Ordinary Level School Certificate and obtained her Higher School Certificate from Limuru Girls’ School.[1] She has a Law Degree from the University of Nairobi, a diploma in Legal Studies from the Kenya School of Law and a master's degree in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.[3]

Private career[edit]

In 1974, Lady Justice Aluoch was appointed as a District Magistrate II (Prof.) in the Kenyan Judiciary.

After the 1982 coup attempt, the then Kenyan President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi embarked on repressing perceived political dissidents. This was achieved by police brutality, arbitrary arrests and long detentions without trial, torture in the infamous Nyayo House basement cells and sham trials where the accused were sentenced to Jail. Joyce Aluoch was a magistrate in several such trials convicting several political dissidents key among them Onyango Oloo.

In 1993 she became a Judge of the High Court. Until her appointment as a Judge of Appeal in December 2007 she was the most Senior Judge of the High Court, handling civil, criminal, commercial and family law cases.[2]

She established and served as Inaugural Head of the Family Division of the High Court and simplified litigation in Family Law matters in line with the principles of 'just, quick and cheap'.[2]

Judge of the International Criminal Court, 2009[edit]

Lady Joyce Aluoch was elected to the International Criminal Court in 2009 from the African group of states and her nine-year term will expire in 2018.[4] She is the presiding judge of Trial Chamber IV, which is hearing the cases of Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo.[5]

As presiding judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I, she I has been assigned with the situations in Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the cases of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (Libya), Ahmad al-Mahdi (Mali)[6] and the Gaza flotilla raid. In a 2015 majority decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber I, she joined her fellow judge Cuno Tarfusser – with Judge Péter Kovács dissenting – in requesting ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her decision not to investigate the Gaza flotilla raid on 31 May 2010.[7] Between 2009 and 2016, she served as member of the trial chamber for the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba, the first case in which the ICC has found a high official directly responsible for the crimes of his subordinates, as well as the first to focus primarily on crimes of sexual violence committed in war.[8]

Guiding career[edit]

Lady Joyce Aluoch became a member of the Olave Baden-Powell Society (OB-PS) in 1991.[9] She is also now the Kenya Girl Guides Association’s National Trustee and a WAGGGS Honorary Associate.[10]

In her role in the Kenya Girl Guides Association(KGGA), Lady Aluoch helped establish the Peer Prevention Programme for Young People.[2] This program is aimed at reducing the spread of the HIV virus through the education of girls and women and targets schools in Busia County, Mumias/Butere, Kakamega, Bungoma in the Western Province, Changamwe and Kisauni in the Coast Province; Nakuru municipality and Nakuru County in the Rift Valley. KGGA is as a key player in Kenya in the fight against HIV/AIDS.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. "Joyce Aluoch". Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d The African Executive (2009-02-04). "Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch: First Kenyan Judge at The Hague". The African Executive. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  3. ^ Judie Kaberia (July 16, 2014), Kenya has made great strides in women empowerment 98.4 Capital FM.
  4. ^ "ICC - Judge Joyce ALUOCH (Kenya)". 2009-03-11. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  5. ^ "ICC - Trial Division". Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  6. ^ Thomas Escritt (March 1, 2016), Mali rebel destroyed ancient Timbuktu shrines, ICC told Reuters.
  7. ^ ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I requests Prosecutor to reconsider decision not to investigate situation referred by Union of Comoros International Criminal Court, press release of July 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Thomas Escritt (March 22, 2016), Congo ex-vice president guilty in landmark ICC war rape ruling Reuters.
  9. ^ Kenya Girl Guides Association. "History- 100 Years". Kenya Girl Guides Association. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  10. ^ Kenya Girl Guides Association. "Activity & Events". Kenya Girl Guides Association. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  11. ^ World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. "Kenya Girl Guides Association". World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Retrieved 2013-10-14.