Today, 8 March 2013, Mr James Stewart of Canada was sworn in as Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) during a ceremony held in an open session of the Court. ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song presided over the session and the President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), Ambassador Tiina Intelmann served as witness to the solemn undertaking.
“Both the Office of the Prosecutor and the ICC as a whole will greatly benefit from Mr Stewart’s abilities and experience”, said ICC President Song. “I am convinced he will contribute significantly to the continued fight against impunity”.
ASP President Ambassador Tiina Intelmann recalled that the new Deputy Prosecutor had highlighted “the importance of dialogue between the Office of the Prosecutor and the Assembly”; in this connection the President of the Assembly called upon all States Parties to cooperate with and actively support the Court to enable it to fully exercise its mandate to investigate, prosecute and prevent mass atrocities.
Mr Stewart then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Ms Silvana Arbia, and made his first speech as ICC Deputy Prosecutor. “To serve the Prosecutor as her Deputy is, for me, a high honour and a privilege”, he said. “The International Criminal Court is a beacon of hope and justice to all those who suffer from the violence of the massive crimes that it is our duty to prosecute”.
During a reception following the ceremony, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said: “In addition to his exceptionally rich legal background and expertise, James Stewart brings a profound determination to bolster our fight to obtain justice for victims”.
Mr Stewart was elected for a period of nine years by the Assembly of States Parties, on 16 November 2012. As Deputy Prosecutor, he will report directly to the Prosecutor.