HIGH COURT judge Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor has been elected to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for 2021-2030.
She was one of six judges elected after eight rounds of voting which began on December 18.
There were six vacancies at the court.
Alexis-Windsor was elected in the eighth round with 86 of the 118 votes. She surpassed her rival from Tunisia, Haykel Ben Mahfoudh. Judges who are nominated to the ICC have experience either litigating or adjudicating cases before the International Criminal Tribunals and the ICC itself.
Every candidate for election to the court is also required to have established competence in criminal law and procedure, the necessary experience in criminal proceedings, whether as a judge, prosecutor or advocate, or have established competence in relevant areas of international law such as international humanitarian law and the law of human rights.
Alexis-Windsor, who was appointed a judge of the TT Supreme Court in 2013, previously served as trial and appeals counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2004-2013.
She was also a senior state counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and was deputy director of the human rights unit at the Office of the Attorney General.
The newly elected judges will fill the vacancies of the six outgoing judges and will begin their nine-year terms on March 10, 2021.
Among the outgoing judges is Justice Geoffrey Henderson.
Henderson was elected in November 2013 and was sworn in on December 12, that year, at a ceremony at the seat of the court in The Hague (Netherlands).
He took up the position after former judge Anthony Carmona resigned to take up the post of president, and is on no-pay leave from the Judiciary, which was approved by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).
Alexis-Windsor was nominated by TT’s permanent mission to the UN in April. Her nomination was also endorsed by Caricom.
In a questionnaire published on the ICC’s website on the nominees, Alexis-Windsor said she believed she had a contribution to make in international law.
“I have an abiding desire to see the legal system provide catharsis for witnesses and victims and to be a part of the mandate of the ICC to erode impunity for breaches of international criminal law,” she added.
In a separate questionnaire with the advisory committee on the nomination of judges, she was asked about her experience in investigating issues related to violence, discrimination, sexual assaults or other similar conduct inflicted on women and children.
Her response was, “On the level of international law, I prosecuted rape as a crime against humanity.”
She also said if elected, she was prepared and available to serve for the duration of her term and in the event she is not called immediately to work full-time, she shall continue to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court of TT until called to take up work with the ICC.
Alexis-Windsor also said she was used to working under the scrutiny of the media and the wider public and gave an example of a rape case she presided over involving a police officer and a minor.
The late Karl Hudson-Phillips, QC, also served as a judge of the ICC from 2003-2007, having resigned before the end of his term for personal reasons.