Former Judge and First Vice-President of the International Criminal Court.
Second woman to be appointed a Judge in Kenya.

Joyce Aluoch

When I completed my secondary education, my father chose law as a career for me, without prior consultation. I therefore studied law and subsequently joined the Kenyan judiciary as a Magistrate and rose to become a Judge of the Court of Appeal. In 2009, I was elected a Judge of the International Criminal Court and served for 9 years. I learnt to juggle life and work early in my life having been married whilst still a law student. Being a wife, mother and student was so challenging that I learnt to survive by hard work, resilience and focus. By the time I began my judicial career, I was ready to “face the world” having learnt the virtues of discipline, leadership and integrity which helped me to succeed in my professional trajectory. Looking back at my life after so many years, I am always thankful to my late father for his choice of what turned out to be a wonderful and fulfilling career. I am proud that I did not let him down!

Looking back at my long career and experience as a judge, I would like to share my views on what I consider important with other women in law. First, understand that success is subjective, in that your hopes and dreams for yourself and your career will always be your own as no one can figure these out for you. Second, make your goals attainable and do not spend too much time pre-planning your future and dismissing some opportunities as not being part of your plan. Life is unpredictable so there is no harm in deviating from a plan if either circumstances or your personal goals change. Third, be careful not to let anyone else influence your worth as someone else’s perceived success has no impact on your life. Do not waste time comparing yourself with others. Care more about making yourself happy instead of trying to impress others.

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