Ambrose Olaa is the Prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi. Ker Kwaro Acholi is an organisation comprising leaders of the different clans of Northern Uganda of the Acholi people and promotes traditional Acholi customs and values. It played an important role in attempting to bring peace to Northern Uganda and restore balance through traditional means. Ker Kwaro Acholi was instrumental in getting the Government of Uganda to pass the Amnesty Act and played an important role in the Juba Peace Talks.
Anushka Sehmi is a Kenyan lawyer and a member of the external team of lawyers led by Joseph Manoba and Francisco Cox, representing 2,564 victims participating in the case against Dominic Ongwen before the International Criminal Court. She has previously worked at the Court as a Field Officer for the Victims’ Participation and Reparations Section of the ICC in Nairobi and assisted in representing victims in the case against Uhuru Kenyatta before the ICC.
Ayodele Akenroye is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was a Visiting Professional with the Prosecution Division of the International Criminal Court and was assigned to the team prosecuting Dominic Ongwen. Also, he has experience practicing criminal defense law in Canada.
Ben Gumpert, QC is an English Circuit Judge sitting at Woolwich Crown Court. He was appointed to the bench in May 2020. Before his judicial appointment he was a barrister, specialising in international criminal law.
Gumpert was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1987. Until 1998 he was a member of barristers’ chambers at 4 King’s Bench Walk, and thereafter at 36 Bedford Row. Between 2003 and 2008, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, he defended Justin Mugenzi, one of the Rwandan government ministers who were ultimately acquitted of planning and organising genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
He joined the Crown Prosecution Service in 2010 as a Principle Crown Advocate. His work at the CPS included a concentration on ‘cold case’ murders, involving innovative statistical analysis of DNA evidence not available at the time of the crime. He also prosecuted to conviction the first case of modern slavery in the English courts.
In 2013 he was appointed a Senior Trial Lawyer in the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC. He led the prosecution team in the cases of Uhuru Kenyatta and Dominic Ongwen. Within the Prosecution Division he took the lead on advocacy training.. He has written and spoken about potential reforms to improve the efficiency of proceedings in international courts and tribunals.
He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.
Beth S. Lyons
Beth S. Lyons is a defense counsel in the Ongwen case at the ICC. She has also defended clients at the ICTR, where she and Lead Counsel Chief Charles A. Taku won an acquittal on appeal for Major F.X. Nzuwonemeye, in Prosecutor v. Ndindiliyimana (“Military II” case). Previously, she worked as a Legal Aid criminal defense and appeals attorney in New York City. Since 1997, she has served as an Alternate Representative to the UN in NY for the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL).
Beth has presented and published on international justice, human rights, international criminal law, fair trial, the rights of ICTR acquitted and prisoners and truth commissions (South Africa and East Timor). She is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Commission of Inquiry | On Systemic Racist Police Violence against People of African Descent in the United States (inquirycommission.org). The Commission’s report is available on the website. She has been involved in struggles for equality and for the right of self-determination since the 1960’s.
Evelyn Amony is a distinguished human rights activist. She is the Co-founder and Chairperson of the Women’s Advocacy Network (WAN) – a forum of over 600 women that advocates for justice and reparations in northern Uganda. In 2015, she published her memoir, I am Evelyn Amony: Reclaiming my Life from the Lord’s Resistance Army, based on her 11-year experience of abduction, conscription and eventual forced marriage to the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Evelyn is a respected mentor to war affected women, youth and children and currently helps facilitate the reunion of children separated from their families during the war, as well as works towards the realization of reparations for women survivors.
Jeffrey K. Opiyo a.k.a Jeff Korondo is a musician and a community peace builder who has produced and performed songs with peace messages for community sensitization for over 15 years. Jeff Korondo is a co-founder of Music for Peace, a community based organization that promotes the power of music for positive social change and he is among one of the most recognized musicians in northern Uganda whose music contributed immensely in the peacebuilding and post conflict recovery process in the region.
Ketty Anyeko is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Anyeko has 12 years of experience conducting peacebuilding, transitional justice, relief and development programme planning and implementation at grassroots, national and international levels. She has researched, worked, and engaged with different conflict-affected communities in Uganda, South Africa, Colombia, Philippines, United States, Canada and Cambodia among others. Anyeko’s research area is sexual violence and transitional justice.
Moses Komakech is a youth representative at the Women’s Advocacy Network Uganda where he currently helps facilitate day to day operations, implementation of projects, working with conflict survivors and other survivors’ networks. As a child born in captivity, he is using his experience to demonstrate and channel positive energy and attitude towards building and promoting peace. Moses has a Bachelor of Economics from Ndejje University, Uganda.
Ongwen Family Representative
Vincent Oyet is the Victim’s Representative at Lukodi Massacre Survivor Association. He was kidnapped multiple times by the LRA beginning when he was 15 years old. Each time he either escaped or was freed and managed to get back home. He is currently a teacher in Uganda.
- May 07 2021
- 9:00 am - 11:30 am
After the Verdict: Dominic Ongwen & the Many Sides of Justice
The International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Chambers IX recently convicted Dominic Ongwen of 61 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Northern Uganda between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005, with a criminal sentence to be issued on Thursday, May 6, 2021. While the news of Dominic Ongwen’s conviction has been well received in/by some constituencies and celebrated for bringing justice to victims in Northern Uganda, yet a closer reading of the judgement shows that the problematic dyad of victims-perpetrator in the context of former child soldiers is far from being resolved and the ICC as a site of global justice struggled to make sense of the heuristic value of cultural evidence and spiritual cosmology in the international criminal accountability process.
This public symposium will interrogate the sharp contrast that emerged between the demands of the norms of universal justice typified by the prosecution of Dominic Ongwen at the ICC, the intersection of spirituality, cultural norms such as Mato Oput and the complexity of determining the victimhood of former child soldiers. Panellists will examine how the ICC has a culture of its own built exclusively on western ideals of justice and how it uneasily intermingled with African culture and spirituality in the pursuit of accountability and reconciliation.
While exploring some of the complexities in the prosecution of Dominic Ongwen, this public symposium will re-examine the complex victimhood and perpetrator-hood of former LRA members and how this complexity is constructed by members themselves, local communities in Northern Uganda, and will propose a broader conception of international justice which integrates local construct of justice in different sites of atrocities in the international criminal accountability process.
- Ambrose Olaa President Ker Kwaro Acholi
- Anushka Sehmi ICC: Victims’ lawyer
- Ayodele Akenroye University of Toronto
- Judge Benjamin Gumpert, QC former Senior Trial Lawyer on Dominic Ongwen’s prosecuting team at the ICC.
- Beth Lyons Senior Defence Counsel representing Dominic Ongwen at the ICC
- Evelyn Amony Women’s Advocacy Network
- Ketty Anyeko University of British Columbia
- Moses Komakech Youth Representative
- Ongwen Family Representative
- Vincent Oyet Victim’s Representative, Lukodi Massacre Survivor Association
With music by Jeff Korondo Music For Peace
Hosted by the Transnational Justice Project in collaboration with the Transformative Memory Project at the University of British Columbia, and the Justice and Reconciliation Project, Uganda
Event art: ‘political’ by Beth W. Stewart