SECURITY COUNCIL VOTES CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ELECT FIVE MEMBERS TO WORLD COURT

6 November 1996
SC/6286/Rev.1*

SECURITY COUNCIL VOTES CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ELECT FIVE MEMBERS TO WORLD COURT

6 November 1996

Press ReleaseSC/6286/Rev.1*

SECURITY COUNCIL VOTES CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ELECT FIVE MEMBERS TO WORLD COURT

19961106 Vacancies To Be Filled by Judges From Algeria, Brazil, Netherlands, Russian Federation, United States

In three rounds of secret balloting this morning, the Security Council, meeting concurrently with the General Assembly, elected Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria), Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands), José Francisco Rezek (Brazil), Stephen M. Schwebel (United States) and Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation) to fill five vacancies on the International Court of Justice beginning on 6 February 1997. Court judges serve nine-year terms.

There were 11 candidates to fill the five vacancies and, to be elected, they must receive an absolute majority of votes in both the Council and the Assembly. The Council elected Messrs. Bedjaoui, Kooijmans, Schwebel and Vereshchetin in its first-round ballot. In the second round, no candidate received a majority. Mr. Rezek was elected in the third round. In the Assembly, all five judges obtained the majority in the first round of voting.

Rule 151 of the rules of procedure of the Assembly, and rule 61 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council, provide that, if in the first ballot in either the General Assembly or the Security Council the number of candidates obtaining an absolute majority is less than five, a second ballot will be held and balloting will continue in the same meeting until five candidates have obtained the required majority.

As of 6 February 1997, the composition of the 15-member Court will be as follows (term expires on 5 February of the year in parenthesis): Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria) (2006), Carl-August Fleischhauer (Germany) (2003), Gilbert Guillaume (France) (2000), Géza Herczegh (Hungary) (2003), Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom) (2000), Shi Jiuyong (China) (2003), Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands) (2006), Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone) (2003), Shigeru Oda (Japan) (2003), Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren (Venezuela) (2000), Raymond Ranjeva (Madagascar) (2000), José Francisco Rezek (Brazil) (2006), Stephen M. Schwebel (United States) (2006), Christopher G. Weeramantry (Sri Lanka) (2000), Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation) (2006).

* Reissued to correct computer error.

Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this morning, concurrently with the General Assembly, to elect five judges to the International Court of Justice for a period of nine years beginning 6 February 1997, in conformity with Articles 4 and 13 of the Statute of the Court. The terms of office of the following five members of the Court will expire on 5 February 1997: Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria), Stephen M. Schwebel (United States), Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana), Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation) and Luigi Ferrari Bravo (Italy).

Candidates for election as judges are: Murat Azimov (Uzbekistan), Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria), Mehmet Güney (Turkey), Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands), Francisco Orrego Vicuña (Chile), José Antonio Pastor Ridruejo (Spain), José Francisco Rezek (Brazil), Patrick Robinson (Jamaica), Stephen M. Schwebel (United States), Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana) and Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation) (documents A/51/334-S/1996/723 and Rev.1 and Corr.1, and A/51/417-S/1996/794 and Rev.1 and Corr.1).

Article 4 of the Statute of the Court provides that members of the Court "shall be elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration".

Another document before the Council is a note by the Secretary-General containing the curricula vitae of the candidates nominated by the national groups (document A/51/335 and Corr.1-S/1996/724 and Corr.1).

Mr. Azimov, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Economical Court of Uzbekistan was nominated by the national group of Uzbekistan.

Mr. Bedjaoui, who is the current President of the International Court of Justice, is nominated by the national groups of Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Mr. Güney, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, member of the International Law Commission and the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi, is nominated by the national groups of Bulgaria, Sudan and Turkey.

Mr. Kooijmans, Professor of Public International Law, University of Leiden, Chairman of the Board of the Carnegie Foundation and of the Administrative Council of The Hague Academy of International Law, is nominated

Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6286/Rev.1 3709th Meeting (AM) 6 November 1996

by the national groups of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

Mr. Orrego Vicuña, Judge of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Director of the Institute of International Studies and Professor of Public International Law, University of Chile, is nominated by the national groups of Belgium, Chile, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay.

Mr. Pastor Ridruejo, Professor of Public International Law, Computense University (Madrid) and President of the Spanish Centre of Space Law (Madrid) and the Real Instituto de Estudios Europeos (Zaragoza) is also Head of the International Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain. He is nominated by the national groups of Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Mr. Rezek, Justice of the Supreme Court of Brazil, Professor of International Law and Constitutional Law, University of Brasilia and Professor of International Law at Rio Branco Institute (official diplomatic school of Brazil) is nominated by the national groups of Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Germany, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Syria and Uruguay.

Mr. Robinson, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney-General's Department, Jamaica, is nominated by the national groups of Colombia, Jamaica and Saint Lucia.

Mr. Schwebel, current Vice-President of the International Court of Justice and member since 15 January 1981, and President of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund, is nominated by the national groups of Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr. Shahabuddeen, member of the International Court of Justice since 6 February 1988, is nominated by the national groups of Guyana, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Nigeria, Slovakia, Sweden and Syria.

Mr. Vereshchetin, member of the International Court of Justice since January 1995, is nominated by the national groups of Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

A memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/51/33-S/1996/722) describes the procedure for the election of the judges in the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6286/Rev.1 3709th Meeting (AM) 6 November 1996

The paper states that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 264 (III) of 8 October 1948, Nauru and Switzerland, which are parties to the Statute of the Court but not Member States of the United Nations, will participate in the Assembly in electing members of the Court in the same manner as United Nations Members.

On the day of the election, the memorandum continues, the Assembly and the Council proceed, independently of one another, to elect five members of the Court. The candidates who obtain an absolute majority of votes, both in the Assembly and the Council, are considered as elected.

The memorandum points out that "the consistent practice of the United Nations has been to interpret the words 'absolute majority' as meaning a majority of all electors, whether or not they vote or are allowed to vote". The electors in the Assembly are all 185 Member States, together with Nauru and Switzerland. In the Assembly, 94 votes constitute an absolute majority in the Assembly for the purpose of this election. In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non-permanent members.

If, in the first ballot in either the General Assembly or the Council, the number of candidates obtaining an absolute majority is less than five, a second ballot is held, the memorandum states. Balloting will continue in the same meeting until five candidates have obtained the required majority.

Only when five candidates have obtained the required majority in one of the organs does the President of that organ notify the President of the other as to the names of the five candidates. The memorandum states: "The President of the latter should not communicate such names to the members of that organ until that organ has itself given five candidates the required majority of votes."

If, upon comparison of the respective lists of names that have obtained an absolute majority in the two organs, fewer than five candidates have been elected, the memorandum continues, the Assembly and the Council will proceed, again independently of one another, "in a second meeting and, if necessary, a third meeting to elect candidates by further ballots for seats remaining vacant, the results again being compared after the required number of candidates have obtained an absolute majority in each organ".

If, however, after the third meeting, one or more seats still remain unfilled, the Assembly and the Council may at any time, at the request of either organ, form a joint conference consisting of six members from each organ. That conference may, by an absolute majority, agree on one name for the respective acceptance of the Assembly and the Council.

Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6286/Rev.1 3709th Meeting (AM) 6 November 1996

The memorandum concludes: "If the joint conference is satisfied that it will not be successful in procuring an election, those members of the Court who have already been elected shall, within a period to be fixed by the Security Council, proceed to fill the vacant seat or seats by selection from among those candidates who have obtained votes either in the General Assembly or in the Security Council." In the event of an equality of votes among the judges, the eldest shall have a casting vote.

Election of Judges to International Court of Justice

The President of the Council, NUGROHO WISNUMURTI (Indonesia), drew the names of France and United States to act as tellers, and the Council proceeded to take its first secret ballot.

Following the balloting, the PRESIDENT announced the results of the vote as follows:

Number of ballot papers: 15 Number of invalid ballots: 0 Number of valid ballots: 15 Required majority: 8

Number of votes obtained:

Stephen M. Schwebel (United States) 15 Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation) 15 Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria) 14 Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands) 8 Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana) 6 José Francisco Rezek (Brazil) 6 José Antonio Pastor Ridruejo (Spain) 5 Mehmet Güney (Turkey) 2 Francisco Orrego Vicuña (Chile) 2 Patrick Robinson (Jamaica) 2 Murat Azimov (Uzbekistan) 0

Four candidates obtained the required majority in the Security Council: Messrs. Schwebel, Vereshchetin, Bedjaoui and Kooijmans.

The Council then proceeded to take its second ballot.

Security Council - 6 - Press Release SC/6286/Rev.1 3709th Meeting (AM) 6 November 1996

Following the balloting, the PRESIDENT announced the results of the vote as follows:

Number of ballot papers: 15 Number of invalid ballots: 2 Number of valid ballots: 13 Required majority: 8

Number of votes obtained:

José Francisco Rezek (Brazil) 5 Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana) 4 Patrick Robinson (Jamaica) 3 Mehmet Güney (Turkey) 1 José Antonio Pastor Ridruejo (Spain) 0 Murat Azimov (Uzbekistan) 0 Francisco Orrego Vicuña (Chile) 0

As no candidate had received the required majority, the Council proceeded to a third secret ballot.

Following the balloting, the PRESIDENT announced the results of the vote as follows:

Number of ballot papers: 15 Number of invalid ballots: 0 Number of valid ballots: 15 Required majority: 8

Number of votes obtained:

José Francisco Rezek (Brazil) 8 Francisco Orrego Vicuña (Chile) 4 Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana) 3 Patrick Robinson (Jamaica) 0 Mehmet Güney (Turkey) 0 José Antonio Pastor Ridruejo (Spain) 0 Murat Azimov (Uzbekistan) 0

The PRESIDENT stated that Mr.Rezek had obtained the required majority for the Council, making a total of five candidates who had received the required majority.

After communicating the results of the Council voting to the President of the General Assembly and being informed of the results in the Assembly, the PRESIDENT announced that as a result of the independent voting in the Security Council and the General Assembly, Messrs. Bedjaoui, Kooijmans, Rezek, Schwebel and Vereshchetin were elected as members of the International Court of Justice for a nine-year term of office beginning on 6 February 1997.

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For information media. Not an official record.