The United Nations Secretary-General has appointed Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, of Uruguay, as the new President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) for a term of two years, effective 1 July 2022.
Judge Gatti Santana has been a Judge of the Mechanism for over a decade. In that capacity, she has been called to exercise functions for the Mechanism in a variety of judicial matters, including as a Judge of the Appeals Chamber in the Karadžić case and a Judge of the Trial Chamber in the ongoing Kabuga case. Since 2016, she has also been actively involved as a judicial member of the Mechanism’s Rules Committee.
Together with her service as a Mechanism Judge, Judge Gatti Santana brings to the Presidency extensive experience working as a prominent judge, jurist and professor in Uruguay. Having joined the Uruguayan judiciary in 1992, she has been assigned to a number of domestic courts, including as a Criminal Judge of the 7th Circuit Court, a Judge for Organised Crime at the 1st Circuit Court and an Appeals Judge to the Civil Court of the 4th Circuit Court. In February 2016, Judge Gatti Santana was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters. In addition, Judge Gatti Santana was actively engaged in the implementation of the new Uruguayan Code of Criminal Procedure from 2016 to 2017 and, since March 2021, has been the President of the Association of Magistrates of Uruguay. She has also worked before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and teaches at the University of Montevideo, the University of Empresa and the Uruguayan judiciary school.
Judge Gatti Santana is the first woman appointed to serve as President of the Mechanism. She will take over from Judge Carmel Agius, of Malta, who has served as Mechanism President since January 2019. Upon her appointment, Judge Gatti Santana expressed her deepest gratitude to Judge Agius for his exceptional tenure as President of the Mechanism and, in particular, for the remarkable progress the Mechanism has achieved under his leadership.