The announcement that Justice Julia Sebutinde has been elected judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) comes as a welcome note for Ugandans. In a country short of role models, Sebutinde is proof that there are many professional hard working Ugandans that need to be celebrated within the country. Her story like that of other unsung Ugandan models needs to be told and exalted to Uganda’s youth.
Sebutinde is best known for her work chairing three commissions investigating allegations of corruption in the Uganda Police Force, the Ministry of Defense and the Uganda Revenue Authority. We remember her no-nonsense attitude during these commissions. We saw her make the leadership tremble and as they tried to explain their excesses and the rampant corruption that characterized the three institutions. Many young Ugandan women, myself included wanted to be like Sebutinde when we grew up. She has made us proud. Her subsequent appointments in 2005 when she was seconded to the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, where she was appointed the Presiding Judge in the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia was proof of her hard work and professionalism. We are all proud of you Julia Sebutinde. Congratulations.