Justice Julia Sebtinde

Julia Sebutinde is a Ugandan Judge on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since 2012.

She is the first African woman to sit on the World Court in its 75-year history. She has now been re-elected to serve a second term of 9 years starting february 2021 to 2030.

Judge Sebutinde is the current Chancellor of Muteesa 1 Royal University since 2016.

Political Career

Julia Sebutinde first worked in the Ministry of Justice in the Government of Uganda from 1978 until 1990. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1991, she worked in the Ministry of the Commonwealth in the United Kingdom. She later joined the Ministry of Justice in the Republic of Namibia.

In 1996 Appointed Judge of the High Court of Uganda leading the commissions of inquiry of the government departments of Corruption in the Uganda Police, Corruption in the Uganda People’s Defence Force, and Corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority.

In 2005 Appointed to the Special Court on Sierra Leone established by the United Nations, and went on serving as Presiding Judge in Courtroom II.

Other posts:

  • Chancellor of the International Health Sciences University (2008-2011);
  • Chairperson, Board of Directors of the Acid Survivors Foundation Uganda (2000-2004);
  • Member of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Drafters (1980-2011;
  • Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (1996-2011);
  • Member of National Association of Women Judges Uganda (1996-2011).

Academic Career

Julia Sebutinde started at Lake Victoria Primary School in Entebbe. She joined Gayaza High School in 1968 for ‘O’ levels, and Kings College Budo for ‘A’ levels.

Judge Sebutinde then joined Makerere University and obtained the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1977.

1978 She received the Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Kampala.

1983 Certificate in Legislative Drafting, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka;

1991 Master of Laws (LLM) Degree from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom;

1997 Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), University of Nevada, USA;

1998 Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies, Haggai Leadership Institute, Singapore;

2009 She was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Edinburgh in recognition of her body of work and contribution to International justice.

2014 She was awarded an honorary doctorate of LLD by Nkumba University in recognition of her

exemplary service to the world.


Julia Sebutinde is the author of various papers and lectures including:

“Making Violence against Women Accountable (October 2008);

“Celebrating Ten Years of the Rome Statute: Does Uganda Have Reason to Join the Party?”(September 2008);


Awards and achievements

Judge Julia Sebutinde has received several awards, two of which are

Good Samaritan Award” at the Congress of Advocates International (2004);

Lifetime Achievement Award of the Uganda British Alumni Association (UBAA) (2006)


Judge Julia Sebutinde is Married to Mr John Sebutinde and they have two children.