Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, PresidentJudge Graciela Gatti Santana


President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals since 1 July 2022.

Judge Graciela Gatti Santana was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 1 June 1964.

On 27 June 2022, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Judge Gatti Santana 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 served as a Judge at both national and international levels for over 29 years.

After having practiced as a Public Notary and as a Lawyer from 1987 to 1992, she joined the Uruguayan judiciary in July 1992 when she served as a Justice of Peace at the Department of Montevideo. Since December 1994, she has been a Judge and, in that capacity, assigned to work before different courts and in various locations of Uruguay.

Between 1994 and 2003, Judge Gatti Santana served as a Judge in Paso de los Toros, Carmelo, Maldonado and Montevideo, during which time she dealt with civil, criminal, family and labour matters. In 2006, she was assigned to work as a Criminal Judge of the 7th Circuit Court and, in 2008, as a Judge for Organised Crime at the 1st Circuit Court. In 2012, Judge Gatti Santana was promoted as an Appeals Judge to the Civil Court of the 4th Circuit Court and, since February 2016, she is serving as a Judge of the Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters.

Judge Gatti Santana has been appointed as a Judge of the Mechanism in December 2011 and took oath as such in May 2012. In that capacity, she has been called to exercise functions for the Mechanism in a variety of judicial matters. In particular, Judge Gatti Santana served as one of the Judges of the Appeals Chamber in the Karadžić case as well as one of the Judges in the Kabuga case during the pre-trial phase.

In 2016, Judge Gatti Santana was appointed by former President of the Mechanism, Judge Theodor Meron, to serve as a judicial member of the Mechanism’s Rules Committee. As such and since then, she has been actively involved in the amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the Mechanism.

Simultaneously, in Uruguay, between 2016 and 2017, Judge Gatti Santana participated in the work to implement the new Uruguayan Code of Criminal Procedure. She acted as the Coordinator of the Coordinating Group of the Judiciary for the Implementation of the New Code of Criminal Procedure and as a representative of the judiciary within the specialised inter-institutional Commission established for its implementation.

In 2019, Judge Gatti Santana represented the Uruguayan judiciary and provided assistance before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during its 174th session on the thematic hearing “Challenges for the search of the truth and justice in Uruguay”.

Besides, since March 2021, Judge Gatti Santana has been the President of the Association of Magistrates of Uruguay.

Judge Gatti Santana has also been teaching as a Professor at the University of Montevideo and at the University of Empresa, Uruguay. In addition, she is a Professor at the Uruguayan judiciary school (“Centro de Estudios Judiciales del Uruguay”) where she teaches “Evidence in criminal matters”.

Judge Gatti Santana graduated as a Public Notary in 1987 and as a Lawyer in 1988 from the University of the Republic of Uruguay (“UDELAR”). In 2008, she studied at the University of Alicante, Spain, where she obtained a postgraduate course in Legal Argumentation. Judge Gatti Santana subsequently completed a Masters in Law at the University of Montevideo, Uruguay. Since 2020, she is pursuing a Doctorate in “Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences” at the University of Salvador, Argentina.

On top of her native Spanish, Judge Gatti Santana is fluent in both English and French.