Two international judges appointed to the Special Criminal Court in CAR
The Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic (CAR) today welcomed two new international judges – Stefan Waespi and Elena Catenazzi. They were sworn in by President Faustin Archange Touadera, during a ceremony held at the Court of Cassation in Bangui on Wednesday, 24 March 2021.
The Special Criminal Court is a domestic tribunal made up of national and international magistrates, with the authority to investigate, prosecute and judge serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed on Central African soil since 1 January 2003.
In taking the oath of office, read out by Head of State Faustin Touadera in his capacity as President of the Higher Council of the Judiciary, the two judges pledged to fulfil their duties faithfully, impartially and in respect of the Constitution; to keep the deliberations and votes secret; not to take any public position and to conduct themselves with integrity.
Both Swiss nationals, Stefan Waespi and Elena Catenazzi were appointed by presidential Decree on 21 October 2020. They have extensive experience in international judicial institutions and were selected through a process led by the UN peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The two judges will now begin investigating cases – with the Court aiming for a first trial before the end of 2021.