About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

WIPO Commemorates the International Day of Women Judges: Inspiring Words from Three Judges from Jordan, Mexico and Uganda

March 10, 2023

On the occasion of the International Day of Women Judges, WIPO honors the extraordinary careers of the women judges who lead by example and actively contribute to building a balanced and effective intellectual property (IP) ecosystem across the world. Today, we share the inspiring stories of three of them, including their journeys, motivations, and challenges in becoming and serving as judges.

For more celebrations of women in IP, join WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Day 2023 campaign on “Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity”.


Judge Nehad Al Husban
(Photo: N. Al Husban)

Nehad Al Husban

President, Court of First Instance, Amman, Jordan

My journey to becoming a judge was not easy. Legal education for women in Jordan was not as accessible as it is now. To obtain a university law degree, I had to move from my hometown to Amman to study at Jordan University. After graduating, I gained experience in several entry-level roles in the Ministry of Labor in the sector of women’s empowerment, but I knew I wanted more for my career, so I enrolled in the judicial institute to become a judge. I became the seventh female judge in Jordan.

I became interested in intellectual property, particularly copyright, after becoming a judge and gaining some judicial experience. I pursued a master's degree in IP at Jordan University and in the years that followed, I held a variety of judicial positions that gave me greater exposure to IP, including as a judicial inspector and president of the Court of First Instance in Salt (a city in Jordan). Afterwards, I earned an LLM degree from Brigham Young University and a PhD in criminal law with a focus on copyright from Jordan University.

My role models are my parents. My mother taught me all the skills necessary to become a fair person and a good judge. My father has always made sure that we have equal opportunities and that we are able to further our education. Additionally, the Judiciary in Jordan has always been supportive of qualified individuals, regardless of gender, which inspired and encouraged me on my journey.

My advice to women aspiring to become judges is that you must be driven by a desire for justice. Being a judge is not easy, and becoming a good judge is an even more difficult journey. A good judge must devote significant time to their profession. It necessitates being fair to others, both during and after working hours. Finally, one should never stop learning and growing.


Judge Luz María Anaya Domíngues
(Photo: L. Anaya Domínguez)

Luz María Anaya Domínguez

Judge, Federal Administrative Tribunal, Mexico City, Mexico

My journey to becoming a judge started even before I finished my law degree. During my legal studies, I became interested in administrative and fiscal law, so I began working at the Federal Administrative Tribunal in Mexico City in an editing position for the publication of the decisions in a journal. I became fascinated by the work of reflecting on and resolving a dispute, which led to my nearly 35-year judicial career.

In 2009, I contributed to establishing the Specialized IP Chamber within the Federal Administrative Tribunal, along with two courageous and admirable women judges. It was Mexico's first IP chamber, and the next 11 years of my judicial career were devoted entirely to IP. During this time, we resolved over 25,000 IP cases. It was certainly the most significant period of my professional career.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a judge is the acknowledgment by the public of a duty well-served. It is very fulfilling to render a judgment when I feel confident that I understood the parties’ arguments, correctly applied the law, and that this well-thought-out decision will have a significant impact on a person’s life, the stability of a company, or public resources allocated for the common good.

The most challenging aspect of being a judge is deciding technically complex cases, or cases involving great public scrutiny and economic interests, as well as overcoming internal and external forces that seek to influence one’s decision.  Also, at times in my career, I have encountered prejudices about my competence because I am a woman judge, especially when it comes to getting promoted to higher positions.

One interesting aspect of judging intellectual property disputes is that the judge must retain objectivity and put herself in the shoes of a regular consumer. And, strange as it may sound, I have gotten so immersed in IP that every time I go grocery shopping, I can't help but scrutinize the trademarks on some of the goods and make a decision on whether there is a likelihood of confusion. Many times, I have come to the conclusion that a mark's registration should not have been granted.

The most complex area of IP for me is patent protection. I had to resolve a dispute involving the infringement of a patent for a medication a few years ago. Understanding the technical aspects and the method of obtaining the medicine proved to be quite difficult — particularly because this was the deciding factor in the case.

The best advice I can give to women aspiring to be judges is to figure out if their passion is in analysis and conflict resolution. Deciding the outcome of a case necessitates hours of reflection. Being a judge can be exhausting for someone who does not enjoy solitude and introspection.

Lydia Mugambe
(Photo: L. Mugambe)

Lydia Mugambe

Judge, High Court, Kampala, Uganda

I was motivated to become a judge after two key experiences in my life. Following my post-graduate legal education, I was offered a position as a researcher at the International Bar Association (IBA) in London, where I worked on guidelines for fact-finding missions. I worked on the Rafik Hariri assassination, and I saw how politics and delays can allow injustice to fester. Later, I worked on genocide cases at the United Nations Tribunal for Rwanda.

These two professional experiences were transformative and compelling for me to have a more active role in ensuring justice. I was fortunate, that at the right time, there were openings in the Ugandan judiciary, and I had the longing to return and serve my country.

I have several role models: Judge Solome Balungi Bossa, a Ugandan judge on the International Criminal Court, has always been a role model for me; her humility in the face of great success is inspiring. The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was breathtaking in her precision and brutal honesty. Finally, Judge Richard Joseph Goldstone, a former South African judge, for his impeccable writing ability that leaves an indelible mark.

In life, I'm inspired by Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, and Barak Obama, the former President of the United States of America—their ability to keep their eyes on the prize and on the bigger picture in the face of adversity is admirable.

The best part of being a judge is when you deliver a judgment and the losing party acknowledges the result and thanks you for taking their arguments into consideration and making a fair determination.

The most challenging part of being a judge is knowing that, in certain cases, the judgment you deliver will not resolve the crisis between the parties before you. It is acknowledging that the legal and judicial systems continue to have limits in their ability to deliver justice.

The best advice I can give to women aspiring to be judges is that it is worthwhile! However, becoming a justice is not about the title and privileges pegged to it. Rather, it is servant leadership. It is necessary to work exceptionally hard, be detail-oriented, and remain relevant in changing times and spaces.