Salone News

Justice Thompson Elected Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I

20 June 2006 at 08:57 | 396 views

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 19 June 2006

Justice Bankole Thompson of Sierra Leone has been elected to a one-year term as Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I. He succeeds Justice Pierre Boutet of Canada.

Justice Thompson, who begins his term on Monday, 19 June, becomes the first Special Court Judge to sit as Presiding Judge a second time. He also served as Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I from 2003 to 2004.

Before his appointment to the Special Court in December 2002, Justice Thompson was Dean of the Graduate School at Eastern Kentucky University. He is currently on a leave of absence as Professor of Criminal Justice.

Previously, he was Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Kent State University.

Justice Thompson holds the degree of MA, LLB and Ph.D (Law) from the University of Cambridge, England, and also an MA in Philosophy from Durham University.

He first served as counsel in his native Sierra Leone from 1971 to 1977, rising to the rank of Principal State Counsel in the Law Officers’ Department, and then Judge of the High Court of Sierra Leone. During that time he was a Founder-Member of the country’s Law Reform Commission. He also served as Legal Officer for the Mano River Union, West Africa, from 1978 to 1981.

His specialities are comparative constitutional law, comparative law, and international criminal law. He was the first African to hold the David Brennan Endowed Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Akron School of Law in Ohio, U.S.A. He has to his credit several articles, book chapters, and two recently-published books, The Constitutional History and Law of Sierra Leone (1961-1995) and The Criminal Law of Sierra Leone.