Thursday, July 25, 2024

Farewell Celebration for Judge Piotr Hofmański, President of the International Criminal Court

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The Embassy of Poland in The Hague was filled with an air of celebration and appreciation on February 22, 2024, as diplomats, judges, and officials gathered to bid farewell to Judge Piotr Hofmański, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This event marked the conclusion of Judge Hofmański’s nine-year term as a judge and his impactful three-year tenure as the President of the ICC. Among the esteemed guests were ambassadors, judges from various international courts, the prosecutor, the registrar, and other dignitaries.

H.E. Ms. Margareta Kassangana, Ambassador of Poland and Dr Ekaterina Trendafilova, President of the Specialist Chambers.

H.E. Ms. Margareta Kassangana, Ambassador of Poland, welcomed the attendees with warmth and gratitude. In her opening speech, she acknowledged the significance of bidding farewell to a remarkable person who had served with distinction and honor. She expressed the sentiment that farewells are never easy, particularly when saying goodbye to someone of Judge Hofmański’s caliber—a great judge, a wonderful man, and an outstanding representative of Poland on the international stage.

Addressing Judge Hofmański directly, Ambassador Kassangana highlighted the accolades he had received from Polish authorities, emphasizing that his election to such a prestigious position within the international justice system was a prove to both his personal accomplishments and the success of Polish diplomacy. She commended Judge Hofmański’s dedication to judicial work and his unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of justice and accountability, even in the face of adversity.

H.E. Ms. Margareta Kassangana delivering her remarks.

Throughout his tenure as President of the ICC, Judge Hofmański navigated unprecedented challenges, including attacks against the institution and its officials. Ambassador Kassangana praised his resilience and leadership in maintaining the Court’s independence and impartiality, despite external pressures. She underscored the importance of Judge Hofmański’s contributions to the ongoing mission of the ICC and expressed hope for his continued involvement in international affairs in the future.

In addition to honoring Judge Hofmański’s professional achievements, Ambassador Kassangana extended heartfelt gratitude to his family, particularly his wife Ewa and their daughters, for their unwavering support during his tenure. She recognized the sacrifices they had made and acknowledged their role in Judge Hofmański’s success.

As the formal proceedings drew to a close, Ambassador Kassangana presented Judge Hofmański with a token of appreciation from the Polish embassy, symbolizing the fond memories of his time in The Hague. She concluded her speech by inviting guests to enjoy the evening’s festivities, including a spread of delicious Polish cuisine, and expressed her gratitude to all who had gathered to honor Judge Hofmański’s legacy.

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