Fatou Bensouda

prosecutor International Criminal Court

Mrs. Fatou Bensouda is Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

On 12 December 2011, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda was elected by consensus by the Assembly of States Parties to serve as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). She was nominated and supported by the African Union as the sole African candidate for election to the post.  Between 1987 and 2000, Mrs. Bensouda was successively Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Republic, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in which capacity she served as Chief Legal Advisor to the President and Cabinet of The Republic of The Gambia. She has also served as a General Manager of a leading commercial bank in The Gambia.

Her international career as a non-government civil servant formally began at the UN 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 (2002 to 2004), after which she joined the ICC as the Court’s first Deputy Prosecutor. Mrs. Bensouda has served as delegate to United Nations conferences on crime prevention, the Organization of African Unity’s Ministerial Meetings on Human Rights, and as delegate of The Gambia to the meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the ICC.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the distinguished ICJ International Jurists Award (2009), presented by the then President of India P. D. Patil; the 2011 World Peace Through Law Award presented by the Whitney Harris World Law Institute, Washington University; the American Society of International Law’s Honorary Membership Award (2014), and the XXXV Peace Prize by the United Nations Association of Spain (2015). In addition to holding several honorary doctorates, Mrs. Bensouda has been listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (2012); by the New African magazine as one of the “Most Influential Africans;” by Foreign Policy as one of the “Leading Global Thinkers” (2013), and by Jeune Afrique as one of 50 African women who, by their actions and initiatives in their respective roles, advance the African continent (2014 & 2015).

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