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Muite cries foul as judge Effie Owuor is appointed

Thursday November 17 2005

By NATION Reporter

Retired judge Effie Owuor has been nominated to the bench of the International Criminal Court.

But the nomination, by the Government, was greeted with outrage by some lawyers and a parliamentary committee.

Yesterday, the House committee on the Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs announced it would block the nomination of the judge.

Committee chairman and Kabete MP Paul Muite said he would write to the ICC objecting to the nomination.

She was cited by a panel led by Mr Justice Aaron Ringera that investigated corruption and incompetence in the Judiciary, but opted to resign after a tribunal was named to inquire into her conduct.

Now Lady Justice Owuor is Kenya's nominee, to join 10 people named to sit in the world's only permanent international court, with the mandate to prosecute suspects for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.


Other nominees are Karoly Bard from Hungary, Haridiata Dakoure (Burkina Faso), Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany), Erkk Kourula (Finland) Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana), Tuiloma Neroni Slade, (Somoa), Sang-hyun Song (Korea), Cheikh Tidiane Thiam (Senegal), Ekaterina Trendafilova (Bulgaria) and Anita Uecka (Latvia).

The Assembly of States Parties session will be held next January 26 and 27.

"This is a Government that does not know what it is doing," said Mr Muite

Mr Muite said the former judge's experience was more on the civil rather than on the criminal side.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission chairman, Prof Makau Mutua, also criticised the nomination. But ICJ chairman Otiende Amollo saw no problem with the nomination but faulted the Government for failing to consult broadly before making the proposal.

"Why is it difficult for the Government to make consultations?" he asked.