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 Her Excellency Judge Elizabeth Ibanda-Nahamya was a Judge of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (UNIRMCT) from 2018 until her untimely death in The Hague, on 5th January 2023.

Judge Ibanda-Nahamya was among the first Judges to be appointed to the War Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda (WCD) in 2009, renamed the International Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda (ICD). She was appointed a Judge of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2013 and served as its Vice President from 2016 to 2018.

She began her international justice career at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1996 and continued at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2004 where she held the positions of Deputy Principal Defender and Principal Defender until 2008. Her commitment to human rights and international criminal justice and her contributions in these fields are too many to list here – her legacy is as wide-reaching as it is profound.

A warm greeting: Judge Elizabeth Ibanda-Nahamya and Evelyn A. Ankumah.
In the background, Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa and Ambassador Mirjam Blaak-Sow share a light moment. At AFLA’s Consultation Meetings with Stakeholders on Emerging Trends on Complementarity in Africa, Kampala, 2018.
As well as a dedicated professional, she was a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Friend and Mentor. As her former colleague, Chief Charles Taku, Defence and Victims’ Counsel before International Tribunals and Former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association has observed ‘She protected young African women who were often victims of harassment and discrimination.’ Roland Amoussouga, Former Spokesperson of the ICTR and her colleague at the ICTR from 1996 to 2004 described her as ‘A great human being in all respects’.

I was privileged to have first met Liz over a decade ago in Dakar in 2009 when she participated in a conference AFLA convened in cooperation with the ICTR. We quickly became fast friends and good colleagues. I was lucky to know members of her family and friends and I admired the warmth and closeness she demonstrated in her relationships and the generosity she always showed me.

At AFLA’s Side Event at the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2017.
From 2017 until her departure in 2023, Liz served as a member of the Peer Review Panel of the AFLA Quarterly Journal.  I was grateful for her guidance and her wisdom and for the excellent contributions Liz made to AFLA and its activities. Liz lived life to the fullest and her loved ones that were blessed to be part of her life will take comfort in that. They will definitely have a guardian angel in Liz.

Dear Liz, Rest in Perfect Peace.
With love from your dear friend, Evelyn A. Ankumah.

Paying Respects.
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Africa Legal Aid · Alexanderveld 5 · The Hague, The Hague 2585 AN · Netherlands

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