97th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 72nd Session

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22-Jun-2018 00:26:01
General Assembly, Security Council elect judge to International Court of Justice at 97th plenary meeting.

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The General Assembly, meeting concurrently with the Security Council today, elected Yuji Iwasawa (Japan) to the International Court of Justice until 5 February 2021.

He would be serving, with immediate effect, the remainder of the nine-year term of office that had been held by Hisashi Owada (Japan), whose resignation from the Court took effect on 7 June.

Mr. Iwasawa was elected by a vote of 184 in favour to zero against, with 5 abstentions, having received more than the required majority of votes in the Assembly.

Prior to voting, Member States had before them a memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/72/872) on the vacancy that had occurred in the Court resulting from the resignation of Mr. Owada as well as the present composition of the judicial organ and the procedure to be followed in the Assembly and the Security Council with regards to the election; the name of the candidate nominated by national groups (document A/72/873); and the curricula vitae of the candidate nominated by national groups (document A/72/874).

Born on 4 June 1954, and specializing in public international law, Mr. Iwasawa has most recently been Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) since 2017 and a Professor of International Law at the University of Tokyo since 2005.

The Court’s justices are elected by obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both the Assembly and the Council (see Press Release SC/13390), without regard to their nationality, from among persons of high moral character around the world. Each must have the qualifications required in his or her country for appointment to the highest judicial office, or must be a jurisconsult of recognized competencies in international law. No two judges may be from the same country and they may not engage in any other occupation during their term of office.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice settles legal disputes between States parties and gives advisory opinions to the Organization and its specialized agencies. The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all Members of the United Nations.

Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Composed of 15 judges, it adjudicates between States, and its legal opinions are binding. The Court also issues advisory opinions when requested to do so.

Its composition on 6 February 2019 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses): Ronny Abraham (France) (2027); Dalveer Bhandari (India) (2027); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) (2024); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) (2027); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Joan E. Donoghue (United States) (2024); Giorgio Gaja (Italy) (2021); Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation) (2024); Xue Hanqin (China) (2021); Yuji Iwasawa (Japan) (2021); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) (2021); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2021); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2027).
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