Malawian judge appointed to UN Dispute Tribunal


Malawi High Court Judge Justice Rachel Sikwese has been elected onto a panel of four judges of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal.

The four judges will endorse the accreditation of several major group organisations to participate in a review of the UN's overarching development strategy for small-island States.

Sikwese made the panel through a secret ballot vote held at the General Assembly and got 109 votes and finished second after Uganda’s Margaret Tibulya who amassed 110 votes. Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell from Trinidad and Tobago got 101 and Francis Belle from Barbados came fourth with 88 votes.

The four elected judges will serve on one of two entities — the other being the United Nations Appeals Tribunal — that comprise the Organization’s system of the administration of justice for employment-related disputes. 

Half-time judges on the Dispute Tribunal are deployed up to a cumulative period of six months per year, as decided by the President based on the caseload and any judicial absences affecting the work of the Tribunal,” reads the statement from the UN.

Appointment of the judges to the tribunals is based on the recommendation of the Internal Justice Council (IJC). 

Sikwese was sworn-in as judge at the High Court in 2012 by then president Joyce Banda.

She has previously served as chairperson of Industrial Relations Court of Malawi from June 2006 to November 2012 and has published a number of papers on labour laws.

She studied law at the University of Malawi Chancellor College in Zomba and graduated in 1998 before obtaining her Masters degree at Indiana University Bloomington in the year 2000.