United States woman elected to fill judicial vacancy on UN World Court

Voting in the General Assembly to elect a member of the International Court of Justice

9 September 2010 – The Security Council and the General Assembly voted today to elect Joan E. Donoghue of the United States as the next judge for the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Judge Donoghue succeeds Thomas Buergenthal, also of the US. His term on the ICJ was due to expire in early 2015, but he resigned earlier this year.

Security Council members voted unanimously this morning to elect Judge Donoghue and she also obtained an absolute majority during a separate meeting of the General Assembly.

Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the ICJ settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies. It is sometimes referred to as the World Court.

Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not on the basis of nationality, and care is taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are represented. No two judges can be from the same country. They cannot engage in any other occupation during their term of office.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Election to fill UN World Court vacancy to be held in September

Related Stories





In-depth Interviews