By Head of State Faustin Touadera in his capacity as President of the Higher Council of the Judiciary, two international judges and one prosecutor appointed to the Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic were, on 8 June 2021, sworn in to office at the Court of Cassation in Bangui.
Their appointment, by Presidential Decree on 19 January 2021, will strengthen the capacity of the SCC to investigate and prosecute cases and crucially, enable the court to conduct trials – something it has hitherto been unable to do. In respect of the Constitution, the trio vowed to fulfil their duties faithfully, impartially; to keep the deliberations and votes secret; not to take any public positions and to conduct themselves with integrity.
Madagascar native Herizo Rado Andriamanantena will make one SCC Trial Chamber – composed of two national judges and one international judge – operational.
Vinciane Boon, a Belgian national, will serve as a Pre-Trial Chamber judge. Her swearing-in completes the panel of judges on the chamber, which must include one national and two international judges.
In his role as Assistant Special Prosecutor, Tyabatuoba Jean Alexandre Tindano from Burkina Faso will join one international special prosecutor, one national deputy special prosecutor, two national assistant special prosecutors and one international assistant special prosecutor.
The Special Criminal Court is a domestic tribunal made up of national and international magistrates, with a mandate to investigate, prosecute and judge serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international criminal and humanitarian law committed on Central African soil since 1 January 2003. The three judicial officials join two other international judges who were welcomed to the SCC in March this year.
Today’s swearing-in ceremony brings hope for justice for the countless victims of human rights abuses and violations in the Central African Republic following decades of conflict.