The two new deputy prosecutors of the International Criminal Court have started work after being sworn in to begin their nine-year term.
Mame Mandiaye Niang (Senegal) and Nazhat Shameen Khan (Fiji) took their oath of office on March 7, 2022 during a ceremony held in open court at the seat of the ICC in The Hague, the Netherlands, and was presided over by Judge Piotr Hofmański, the ICC President.
“I solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” the two declared as they took their oath in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute.
Saying the oath-taking is a special occasion for the International Criminal Court, Judge Hofmański said the court “…welcomes the arrival of a new senior official who will give their contribution to shaping the court’s future course.”
Assembly of States Parties (ASP) Vice-President Kateřina Sequensová echoed the sentiments, adding that Niang and Khan would bring “robust” support to the court and that their extensive experience in international criminal justice would be of great assistance to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan.
Khan welcomed his new team members. “Their experience, energy and dynamism will be crucial as we seek to transform the principles of the Rome Statute into a tangible and meaningful reality for those that most need its protection,” he said.
Niang and Khan, who signed their oath before ICC Registrar Peter Lewis, were picked on December 10, 2021 by the representatives of the 123 states parties that are members of the ASP. One will be in charge of investigations and the other will be for prosecutions. Their appointment re-stablished tradition at the court, which has for the past nine years had only one deputy prosecutor, unlike in the past. James Stewart of Canada has served alone in the position and one of his last duties was prosecuting Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru, who is facing charges of witness interference.
Prosecutor Khan thanked his former deputy for his service. “I’m sincerely grateful for his years of dedicated service to the ICC & for the elegance, wisdom & dedication w/ which he discharged his mandate. We are richer for it,” he said on Twitter.
Deputy Prosecutor Khan has more than 30 years of experience practising criminal law and was the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the duration of 2021.
Niang has 34 years of national and international experience, and has served in ad hoc tribunals as a senior legal officer.