Hon. Judge Akua Kuenyehia
Hon. Judge Akua Kuenyehia is a former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, a position she held from 2003-2015. During her time at the ICC, she was the Presiding Judge of the Pre-Trial panel which indicted Thomas Lubanga for war crimes, subsequently leading to his conviction in 2012 for the use of child soldiers in conflict. She was elected First Vice-President of the Court from 2003 to 2009. Prior to working at the ICC, Hon. Judge Kuenyehia occupied many positions spanning academia, legal practice and women’s international activism. As the first female law lecturer to be appointed at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana in 1972, she rose through the ranks to become the first female Dean of the Faculty from 1996-2003. She is currently the President of Mountcrest University College in Accra, Ghana. She spent most of her professional career teaching at the University of Ghana and as a Visiting Professor at other universities including, Leiden University (Netherlands), Temple Law School, and Pennsylvania State University in the USA. As a gender activist, Hon. Judge Kuenyehia engaged in pioneering work on women and law, including helping to set up the first Legal Aid Centre for indigent women under the auspices of the Ghana chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA). She is a founding member of Women in Law and Development in Africa, (WiLDAF) a regional women’s network which has introduced training in legal literacy for grassroots women throughout the region. She has played a central role in strengthening the capacity of many women’s organizations in their efforts to defend and protect women’s rights. Hon. Judge Kuenyehia represented Ghana on the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) committee and contributed immensely to its reputation and influence. From 1997 until her election to the ICC in 2003, she coordinated a research project entitled “Women and Law in Anglophone West Africa”, which covered Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The project produced two major publications, namely, “A Situational Analysis of Some Key Issues Affecting Women” (1998), and “Gender Relations in the Family in West Africa” (2003). She is co-editor with Professor Cynthia Bowman of Northwestern University School of Law, USA on “Women and Law in Sub- Saharan Africa” (2003). She is the author of numerous other academic publications on gender and the law, family law and international human rights. She is currently co-editing a forthcoming book on “African Women Judges on International Courts: Untold Stories” (Routledge, 2017) with Josephine Dawuni and Leigh Swigart. Other positions she has held include; member of the Board of Directors of the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development of the Canadian Government in Montreal, Canada, Member of the Board of Directors of the Women Law and Development Institute in Washington, DC and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Women in Law and Development in Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe.