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Fatou Bensouda Graduation- Friday 30 June

Queen’s honours Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and British Sociologist


Fatou Bensouda and Professor Sylvia Walby OBE will receive honorary doctorates from Queen’s University today.

Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), will today (Friday 30 June) receive an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University. Professor Sylvia Walby OBE, British Sociologist and the first UNESCO Chair in Gender Research at Lancaster University, will also be recognised by the University.

Fatou Bensouda of the Gambia is the first female to hold the role of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, The Netherlands.

Her international career as a non-government civil servant formally began at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where she worked as a Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney before rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit, after which she joined the ICC as the Court’s first Deputy Prosecutor.

Previously, she served The Gambia in different capacities including as Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Time magazine listed Fatou among the 100 most influential people in the world in its annual Time 100 issue, noting her role as a "leading voice pressing governments to support the quest for justice".

Speaking ahead of receiving her Honorary Degree for distinction in public service and in Law, Fatou said: “I am really delighted to be receiving this Honorary Degree from Queen’s University. I see this honorary degree as recognition, not only for my personal achievements, but for the achievements of the International Criminal Court and the Office of the Prosecutor at the Court, as well as the importance of the cause of international criminal justice more generally."

Sylvia Walby Graduation

Also being honoured by Queen’s is the UNESCO Chair of Gender Research and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, Professor Sylvia Walby.

She was the founding President of the European Sociological Association, has been Chair of the Women’s Studies Network UK, and currently directs the Violence and Society UNESCO Centre at Lancaster University.

Sylvia is noted for work on violence, gender regimes, gender mainstreaming, the European Union, globalization and social theory.  She was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities and diversity in 2008.

Speaking ahead of receiving her Honorary Degree for distinction in Sociology, Professor Walby, said: “I am honoured to receive this honorary degree in social science from Queen’s University. I share this day with many other graduates who seek to develop scientific knowledge about society in order to attempt to make the world a better place.

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