RSCSL Judges Hold Plenary Meeting in Freetown

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – The Plenary of Judges meeting in Freetown has elected Justice Richard Brunt Lussick of Samoa to a two-year term as President of the Residual Special Court. He succeeds Justice Pierre Boutet of Canada.

Justice Isaack Lenaola of Kenya was elected vice president, succeeding Justice Emmanuel Ekundayo Roberts of Sierra Leone, and Justice Alusine Sesay of Sierra Leone was elected Staff Appeal Judge. He succeeds Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, also of Sierra Leone.

Over the two-day period which ended on Thursday, the Judges were briefed by the Registrar, the Prosecutor and the Principal Defender on judicial and administrative matters relating to the RSCSL. They also considered amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Court.

Justice Lussick served as a trial judge in the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2004 to 2012, including as Presiding Judge in 2006 and 2012. He was appointed as a judge of the RSCL by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2013.Justice Lussick was the Sixth President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.

He served in that tribunal from 2012 to 2019. From 1995 to 2000, he served as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kiribati. He was appointed to the Bench in Samoa in 1987, and held appointments to the District Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Land and Titles Court and as Acting Chief Justice. He also served as the Chairman of the Public Service Board of Appeal from 1987 to 1995.

He was vice president of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (Pacific Region) from 1997 to 2000. He practiced as a Barrister-at-Law in Sydney, Australia, from 1973 to 1986, when he was appointed Parliamentary Counsel to Samoa.

Justice Isaac Lenaola is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi and the Kenya School of Law.

After admission to the bar, he practiced law in Nairobi, specializing in Commercial Law and Land Law, and served as a Commissioner both at the Peoples Commission of Kenya (PCK) and at the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC). He also served as a member of the Tribunal Investigating the conduct of Puisne Judges.He joined the judicial service in 2003 and worked as Resident Judge in Embu, Meru, Machakos and Kakamega High Courts.

As a High Court Judge, Justice Lenaola was a Commissioner at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), where he served as Chairman of the Human Resource and Administration Committee (HRAC).

He was previously a Member of the Board of the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) and Chairman and member of various Judiciary Committees, as well as Chairman of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) and Treasurer of the East African Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA).

Until his appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Lenaola was the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional and Human Rights Division at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, Kenya.

The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone is responsible for the ongoing legal obligations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which concluded its mandate in December 2013. These include supervision of prison sentences, witness protection and support, maintenance and preservation of the archives, and assistance to national prosecution authorities.

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