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MBABANE – Judge Qinisile Mabuza continues to reach the upper echelons of the law fratenity as she was recently elected into the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

Mabuza is the only black woman and African to be appointed into ICJ, an international human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO), with a standing group of 60 eminent jurists, including senior judges, attorneys and academics, who work to develop national and international human rights standards through the law.


Justice Mabuza is currently serving her third term as Commissioner, following her election in 2013. She is currently the principal judge of the High Court of Eswatini. She was elected into the ICJ Executive Committee among other judges from other countries. These included Sir Nicolas Bratza (United Kingdom), ICJ Chairman Dame Silvia Cartwright (New Zealand), Justice Martine Comte (France), Nahla Haiddar El Addal (Lebanon), Shawan Jabarin (Palestine), Mikiko Otani (Japan), Belisario dos Santos Junior (Brazil), Marco Sassoli (Italy/Switzerland) and Ambiga Sreenevasan from Malaysia.

According to the ICJ website, she is also the principal judge in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice, a regional court for the COMESA 21-member States. In 2005, Mabuza was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Eswatini and since then, she has presided over numerous cases that have demonstrated her willingness to uphold the independence of the Judiciary and support of human rights.
Prior to her appointment to the High Court, Judge Mabuza was a founding partner and attorney at Q.M Mabuza and Associates.


In 1978, Judge Mabuza made history as she became the first liSwati woman to be admitted as an attorney of the High Court of Eswatini, then Swaziland. Furthermore, between 2002 and 2005, she worked as a lecturer of Law at the University of Eswatini, while also serving as a non-executive Director of the Central Bank of Eswatini from 1994-2005 and as Chairperson of the Swaziland Road Transportation Board (1994-1997). Judge Mabuza has also worked in a number of commissions of Inquiry, including as Chairperson of the 2005 Phalala Fund Inquiry.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. She also holds a Master of Law from the University of South Africa, where she specialised in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. When reached for comment, Judge Mabuza said: “I am honoured and humbled to be recognised by the apex of the commission by being the only black female selected to be part of the ICJ Executive Committee. I am happy to be hoisting the country’s flag, as this is good for the country and continent at large.”

The Law Society of Swaziland Secretary General, Charity Simelane, congratulated Judge Mabuza by saying: “Such recognition and her Ladyship’s re-election into the ICJ Executive Committee for the third time is good for our jurisdiction and women empowerment. As a Law Society, we applaud it and feel it is well deserved. We wish her Ladyship all the best.” The ICJ’s headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland and it was founded in 1952 and it is headed by Robert Goldman (since 2017).