|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
84th Meeting (PM)
General Assembly, Security Council Fill Remaining Vacancy on International Court
Of Justice by Concurrently Electing Fifth Judge
The General Assembly today elected Julia Sebutinde of Uganda to a much-contested seat on the International Court of Justice, ending a weeks-long stalemate between the Assembly and the Security Council.
Following a single ballot — which brought to 12 the total number of voting rounds in the Assembly — Ms. Sebutinde received in both organs the absolute majority required to clinch the fifth and final vacant seat on the Court. She would join four other candidates elected on 10 November in commencing a nine-year term of service on 6 February 2012. (See Press Release GA/11171)
Ms. Sebutinde graduated in 1977 from Makerere University in Uganda and joined the Ministry of Justice, where she rose to the level of Principal State Attorney/Principal Legislative Counsel. She also worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and at the Ministry of Justice 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, the Ministry of Defence and the Uganda Revenue Authority, respectively. In 2005 she was seconded to the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, where she was appointed the Presiding Judge in the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia.
The deadlock over the final seat on the International Court of Justice began on 10 November, when four judges — Hisashi Owada ( Japan), Xue Hanqin ( China), Peter Tomka ( Slovakia) and Giorgio Gaja ( Italy) — were elected or re-elected. However, neither candidate for the final vacancy had earned an absolute majority in both the Assembly and the Council — which vote independently but concurrently when seating judges for the Court — after the initial seven rounds of voting. Both organs then reconvened on 22 November to continue the election, which had been narrowed to two candidates — Ms. Sebutinde ( Uganda) and Abdul G. Koroma ( Sierra Leone). (See Press Release GA/11178)
Following is the Court’s composition of 15 judges as at 6 February 2012: Ronny Abraham (France); Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco); Thomas Buergenthal (United States); Giorgio Gaja (Italy); Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom); Xue Hanqin (China); Kenneth Keith (New Zealand); Hisashi Owada (Japan); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda); Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor (Mexico); Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation); Peter Tomka (Slovakia); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia).
As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice settles legal disputes between States parties and issues advisory opinions to the Organization and its specialized agencies. The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all Member States of the United Nations. For information on today’s Security Council voting, please see Press Release SC/10482.
Voting Results from Twelfth Round
Number of ballot papers:
Number of invalid ballots:
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Number of votes obtained:
Abdul G. Koroma ( Sierra Leone)
Julia Sebutinde ( Uganda)
* *** *For information media • not an official record