High Court Judge Althea Alexis-Windsor has taken her oath as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a press release issued on Wednesday evening, the Judiciary noted that due to COVID-19 limitations, the oath was administered remotely by ICC President Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji in the presence of Chief Justice Ivor Archie and a few of her friends and relatives.
Alexis-Windsor was among five judges from the United Kingdom, Mexico, Costa Rica, Georgia, and Sierra Leone, who were elected for nine-year terms during a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute in December, last year.
Alexis-Windsor, who has over 23 years of experience in criminal law, previously served as trial and appeal counsel for the Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) and worked in the Office of the Prosecutor in Tanzania.
The former pupil of Vessigny Antilles Secondary School in La Brea, and St Joseph’s Convent in San Fernando, worked in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and in private practice before she joined the local bench in 2013.
“Judges are chosen from among persons of high moral character, impartiality, and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices,” the release said.
“The election of the Judges takes into account the need for the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, a fair representation of men and women, and equitable geographical distribution,” it added.
During the ceremony, Eboe-Osuji noted that the appointments ensured that there was gender balance in the ICC.
“With the departure of the six outgoing Judges, there will now be a perfect gender balance on the bench of the ICC and for the first time there will be nine women and nine men, there are not many courts national or international that have that composition,” she said.
The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was the brainchild of former prime minister and president ANR Robinson.
Alexis-Windsor becomes the fourth T&T national to serve as a judge of the ICC, with Karl Hudson-Phillips, QC, former president Anthony Carmona, and former DPP Geoffrey Henderson preceding her.
Henderson’s stint in the ICC ended with the new appointments.
“The appointment of Justice Alexis-Windsor while significant in the historic gender composition of the ICC, is also testament of the calibre and competence of our Judges on the bench,” the Judiciary said.