Fumiko Saiga (left) passed away yesterday following a brief illness. Saiga, a Judge of the International Criminal Court and member of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Committee, was 65 years old.
She'd been elected to the Court in 2007, as IntLawGrrls noted last fall. Her prior career had been in Japan's foreign ministry, where she served as ambassador to Norway and Ireland, and as ambassador in charge of human rights issues such as violence against women. The last appointment recognized her efforts on behalf of women's rights: among other achievements in this regard, Saiga had spearheaded Japan's 1985 ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and had served on the CEDAW Committee for much of this past decade.
Earlier this year Saiga was re-elected to the ICC. She'd been serving in Pre-Trial Chamber II and Trial Chamber II. In a release ICC President Sang-Hyun Song said of his colleague:
'Judge Saiga’s death is an enormous loss to the Court. Her sharp legal acumen and dedication to impartial justice, coupled with her balance and grace, made her an eminently capable jurist.'