On June 15, 2012, Mme. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s Deputy Prosecutor, was sworn in as Chief Prosecutor of the Court. It was a wonderful day, with dignitaries, friends, family and Court personnel gathered both to witness the transition and to honor Prosecutor Bensouda. The ceremony was presided over by President Song, and both the President of the Assembly of States Parties, Tina Intelmann, and Mme. Bensouda delivering stirring and important remarks. After the ceremony, a reception was held which was sponsored by the Swiss Government and the CICC. The invitations issued bore the notation “dark suit” and many of us obliged, wearing black or otherwise very somber garb. What it should have said, however, was “business attire or national dress” for that in fact was apparently what they meant. And indeed, many of the Africans present were resplendent in beautiful robes or shirts of brilliant color. It was a great day for the African States Parties who could feel even greater ownership of this Court; and a wonderful day for the ICC which will benefit from Mme. Bensouda’s passion, commitment, intelligence, experience and grace. I was honored to be present. See website. She will serve a 9-year term.
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