Justice Julia Sebutinde graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1977. In 1978 she obtained the Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kampala Law Development Centre. Later that year she started work in Uganda’s Ministry of Justice where she rose to the level of Principal State Attorney/Principal Legislative Counsel.
In 1991 she graduated with an LLM (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh before starting work at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. From here she was seconded to the Ministry of Justice in the newly-independent Republic of Namibia.
In 1996 she was appointed Judge of the High Court of Uganda. She has chaired three high-level commissions investigating allegations of corruption in the Uganda Police Force, Ministry of Defence and the Uganda Revenue Authority.
In 2005 she was seconded to the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2007 she was appointed the presiding judge of Trial Chamber II, which is currently engaged in the trial of the former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor.
She is a member of the Uganda Women Lawyers Association (FIDA) – Uganda; the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and the Uganda Christian Lawyers Association (UCLA). She is also a good-will ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Programme, which addresses reproductive health, population development strategies and advocacy.