Judge Aminatta Lois Runeni N’gum
Judge Aminatta Lois Runeni N’gum [hereinafter referred to as Judge N’gum] is a Zimbabwean citizen by birth to Zimbabwean citizens on 7 June 1953 in Harare, Zimbabwe [then Salisbury, Rhodesia]. She is also a Gambian citizen by marriage to a Gambian citizen since 6 February 1981 in The Gambia.
Educational Background: Judge N’gum received an LL.M in Public International Law with an International Criminal Law Specialisation from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 2005, and her thesis was entitled “Freedom of Expression and the Right to Restrict such Freedom – the Experience of Africa and the Diaspora”. When she was Master of the Supreme Court [now High Court in The Gambia], she participated in the First Commonwealth Judicial Management Course at the Royal Institute for Public Administration [RIPA] London, U.K. in 1993. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales as an Utter Barrister as a member of Lincoln’s Inn since 1977; having passed the Bar Finals at The Inns of Court School of Law, Gray’s Inn Place, London United Kingdom in 1979. She completed the requisite six months pupillage under Mr. Henry Myers Esq. 9 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London United Kingdom, in March 1980. She studied at the University of Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom, and graduated with a B.A. Joint Honours in Law and Sociology 1978. She was a member of Amnesty International at Keele.
Relevant International Experience: Judge N’gum is serving as a Judge on the roster of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (“the Mechanism”). She was nominated by the Gambian Government in September 2011, elected by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2011, and sworn in by the Registrar of the Mechanism on 27 April 2012. She has actively participated in the finalizing of the Draft Mechanism Rules of Procedure and Evidence in June 2012 and amendments thereto, as well as the Code of Professional Conduct for Mechanism Judges. She has also been assigned by the Mechanism President, and carried out several functions remotely as a single Judge as well as in a panel of 5 Judges on an Appeal. In addition, Judge N’gum served as a Legal Officer at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) from July 1999 to September 2009, representing the Registrar in and out of court and ensuring the smooth running of proceedings from the Pre-Trial through the Trial to the Appeal and Review stages. She commenced in Arusha, Tanzania, in the Court Management Section as Deputy Chief, sometimes Officer-in-Charge, for 2 years and 3 months; then she was reassigned as Head of the Appeals Support Unit in The Hague, the Netherlands, for 2 years; reassigned to Arusha in the Defence Counsel and Detention Management Section as Deputy Chief and Head of Section and later Officer-in-Charge for 2 years; finally returning to the Court Management Section, for 3 years and 3 months.
Relevant National Experience: Judge N’gum served as Judge of the Gambian Court of Appeal hearing and determining Civil and Criminal Appeals from the High Court of The Gambia from 2010 to 2011. The Chief Justice appointed her to serve on the Supreme Court for the November 2010 session. Additionally, she served the Judiciary of The Gambia in various capacities including First Judicial Secretary from 1998 to 1999; Master of the Supreme Court from 1990 to 1994 and Magistrate Class I, Senior and Principal Magistrate from 1980 to 1990 respectively. Additionally, she served as a Private Legal Practitioner in The Gambia from 1994 to 1998 and from 2009 to 2010; as a Senior Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into Land Administration; and as a Part-Time Law Lecturer at The Gambia Technical Training Institute. She also served as Assistant Editor for the 1994 Gambia Law Reports for the National Council for Law Reporting. She was an ad hoc Member of The Gambia Law Reform Commission Subcommittee Criminal Code: Criminal Procedure Code and the Law of Evidence, now the Evidence Act 1994. She was a Member of the National Specialised Committee on Women in Development – Legal Status and Welfare Committee of the Gambia’s Women’s Bureau. She was a Founding Member of the Soroptimist International of Banjul as well as The Gambia Women Finance Association. She is a Life Member of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association; International Association of Women Judges; and other Associations and NGOs.