SECURITY COUNCIL, MEETING CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ELECTS FIVE JUDGES TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

6 November 2008
SC/9494

SECURITY COUNCIL, MEETING CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ELECTS FIVE JUDGES TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

6 November 2008
Security Council
SC/9494
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6011th & 6012th Meetings (AM & PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, MEETING CONCURRENTLY WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

ELECTS FIVE JUDGES TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

 

The Security Council, meeting independently but concurrently with the General Assembly, today elected five judges to the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms, beginning on 6 February 2009.

Out of a list of eight candidates, the Council, in two meetings, each of one round of secret balloting, elected:

Ronny Abraham (France), Judge at the International Court of Justice since 15 February 2005; Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan), Judge at the International Court of Justice since 6 February 2000 and Vice-President of the Court since 6 February 2006; Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil), Professor at the University of Brasilia and at the Diplomatic Academy Rio Branco of Brazil, and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom), Counsel before the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, among others; and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), General Counsel of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice.

Under the terms of the Court’s Statute, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both the Assembly and the Council is considered elected.  In the Security Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non-permanent Council members.  By contrast, all 192 Member States in the General Assembly are electors.  Accordingly, for the purpose of today’s election, 97 votes constituted an absolute majority in the Assembly.  (For General Assembly results, see Press Release GA/10777)

Because only four candidates received the required majority in both the Council and the Assembly after the first concurrent ballot -– Mr. Abraham ( France), Mr. Al-Khasawneh ( Jordan), Mr. Cançado Trindade ( Brazil) and Mr. Greenwood ( United Kingdom) -– a new meeting was called to elect the remaining member.  During that meeting, Mr. Yusuf ( Somalia) was elected by both organs.

The Court’s composition will now 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); Thomas Buergenthal (United States) (2015); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) (2018); Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom) (2018); Kenneth Keith (New Zealand) (2015); Abdul Koroma (Sierra Leone) (2012); Hisashi Owada (Japan) (2012); Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor (Mexico) (2015); Shi Jiuyong (China) (2012); Bruno Simma (Germany) (2012); Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation) (2015); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2012); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2018).

Located in The Hague, 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.

The first meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and was suspended at 10:45 a.m.  Resuming at 12 noon, it adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

A second meeting was called to order at 12:40 p.m. and suspended at 12:45 p.m.  It resumed at 1:10 p.m. and was suspended again at 1:15 p.m.  The meeting resumed at 3:45 p.m. and was suspended once more at 3:47 p.m.  It resumed at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 6:07 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met concurrently today with the General Assembly to elect five judges to the International Court of Justice for a nine-year term, beginning on 5 February 2009.

The 15-member Court’s jurisdiction covers all questions referred to it by States, and all matters provided for in the United Nations Charter or in treaties or conventions in force.  It consists of 15 judges elected by the Council and the Assembly, voting independently.  They 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.  Judges serve for a nine-year term and may be re-elected.  They cannot engage in any other occupation during their term of office.

The terms of office of the following five members of the Court will expire on 5 February 2009:  Ronny Abraham (France); Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan); Rosalyn Higgins ( United Kingdom); Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren ( Venezuela); and Raymond Ranjeva ( Madagascar).

According to a note by the Secretary-General containing a List of candidates nominated by national groups (document A/63/187-S/2008/503), the candidates are Ronny Abraham (France); Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan); Sayeman Bula-Bula (Democratic Republic of the Congo); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil); Miriam Defensor-Santiage (Philippines); Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom); Maurice Kamto (Cameroon); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia).  The curricula vitae of the nine candidates are contained in document A/63/188-S/2008/504.

Judges whose terms of office will expire in 2012 are Shi Jiuyong ( China); Abdul G. Koroma ( Sierra Leone); Hisashi Owada ( Japan); Bruno Simms ( Germany); and Peter Tomka ( Slovakia).  The members of the Court whose terms expire in 2015 are Mohamed Bennouna ( Morocco); Thomas Buergenthal ( United States); Kenneth Keith ( New Zealand); Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor ( Mexico); and Leonid Skotnikov ( Russian Federation).

According to a memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/63/186–S/2008/501), those candidates who obtain an absolute majority of votes both in the Council and in the Assembly will be considered elected.  In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non-permanent members.  Only when five candidates have obtained the required majority in one of the organs does the President of that body notify the President of the other as to the names of the five candidates.

Election of Judges

At the outset of the meeting, it was announced that the candidacy of Rafael Nieto-Navia ( Colombia) had been withdrawn.

The results of the first round of balloting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

Christopher Greenwood ( United Kingdom)

15

Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade ( Brazil)

14

Ronny Abraham ( France)

13

Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh ( Jordan)

13

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ( Somalia)

8

Maurice Kamto ( Cameroon)

6

Miriam Defensor-Santiage ( Philippines)

5

Sayeman Bula-Bula ( Democratic Republic of the Congo)

1

Five candidates obtained the required majority in the Council:  Mr. Abraham ( France), Mr. Al-Khasawneh ( Jordan), Mr. Cançado Trindade ( Brazil), Mr. Greenwood ( United Kingdom) and Mr. Yusuf ( Somalia).

Council President Jorge Uribe ( Costa Rica) said he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly, informing him that five candidates had obtained an absolute majority in the voting conducted by the Assembly:  Mr. Abraham ( France), Mr. Al-Khasawneh ( Jordan), Mr. Cançado Trindade ( Brazil), Ms. Defensor-Santiage ( Philippines) and Mr. Greenwood ( United Kingdom).

As four candidates -- Mr. Abraham ( France), Mr. Al-Khasawneh ( Jordan), Mr. Cançado Trindade ( Brazil) and Mr. Greenwood ( United Kingdom) -- had obtained the required majority in both the Council and the Assembly, they were elected to the International Court of Justice for a term of nine years.

Because only four candidates had been elected, the Council meeting, according to Article 11 of the Court’s Statute, was adjourned at 12 noon.  A new meeting was called to order at 12:40 p.m. to continue the elections.

The results of the balloting in the second meeting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ( Somalia)

8

Maurice Kamto ( Cameroon)

5

Miriam Defensor-Santiage ( Philippines)

2

Sayeman Bula-Bula ( Democratic Republic of the Congo)

0

Mr. Yusuf ( Somalia) obtained the required majority of votes in the Security Council.

The Council was informed that the candidacy of Mr. Bula-Bula had been withdrawn, and that Mr. Yusuf had also obtained the absolute majority of votes in the General Assembly.

Mr. Yusuf was therefore elected to the International Court of Justice for a term of nine years in office, beginning on 6 February 2009.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.