|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6682nd Meeting (PM)
Security Council, General Assembly Concurrently Elect Fifth Judge to Fill
Remaining Vacancy on International Court of Justice
The Security Council, meeting concurrently with but independently of the General Assembly, today elected Julia Sebutinde of Uganda as the fifth Judge of the International Court of Justice. (See Press Release GA/11194.)
After having elected four judges on 10 November, the Council and the Assembly had two candidates before them: Ms. Sebutinde, Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber 2 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Abdul G. Koroma ( Sierra Leone), currently a Judge of the International Court of Justice.
Ms. Sebutinde received nine votes in the Council and the majority of ballots in the Assembly. By the terms of the Court’s Statute, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both organs is considered elected. Eight votes constitute an absolute majority in the 15-strong Security Council, with no distinction made between permanent and non-permanent members. By contrast, all 193 Member States in the General Assembly are electors, and accordingly, for the purpose of today’s election, 97 votes constituted an absolute majority.
There had originally been eight candidates for the five positions, including four incumbents. On 10 November, the Council and the Assembly elected Giorgio Gaja (Italy), Professor of International Law at the University of Florence School of Law; Hisashi Owada (Japan), President of the International Court of Justice; Peter Tomka (Slovakia), Vice-President of the International Court of Justice; and Xue Hanqin (China), Judge at the International Court of Justice. They failed to fill the fifth available position in subsequent rounds of balloting, with the Council repeatedly electing Mr. Koroma and the Assembly continuing to choose Ms. Sebutinde. (See Press Release SC/10444.)
The Court’s composition as at 6 February 2012 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses): Ronny Abraham (France, 2018); Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan, 2018); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco, 2015); Joan E. Donoghue (United States, 2015); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil, 2018); Giorgio Gaja (2021); Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom, 2018); Kenneth Keith (New Zealand, 2015); Hisashi Owada (2021); Julia Sebutinde (2021); Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor (Mexico, 2015); Xue Hanqin (2021); Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation, 2015); Peter Tomka (2021); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia, 2018).
Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It adjudicates between States and its legal opinions are binding. The Court also issues advisory opinions when requested to do so. It consists of 15 judges elected by the Council and the Assembly, voting independently, who are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not nationality. Care is taken to ensure that the world’s principal legal systems are represented, and no two judges can be from the same country. The judges serve nine-year terms and may be re-elected, but they cannot engage in any other occupation during their terms of office.
The terms of the following five Court members will expire on 5 February 2012: Abdul Koroma; Hisashi Owada; Shi Jiuyong ( China); Bruno Simma ( Germany); and Peter Tomka.
The curricula vitae of the candidates are available in document A/66/184-S/2011/454.
The meeting began at 3:32 p.m. and ended at 4:08 p.m.
Ninth Round of Balloting
Number of ballot papers
Number of invalid ballots
Number of valid ballots
Number of abstentions
Number of votes obtained:
Abdul G. Koroma ( Sierra Leone)
Julia Sebutinde ( Uganda)
* *** *For information media • not an official record