Security Council, General Assembly Elect Four New Judges to World Court, Fifth Vacancy to Be Filled Pending Concurrent Action by Both Bodies

SC/11633
6 November 2014
7297th Meeting (AM)

Security Council, General Assembly Elect Four New Judges to World Court, Fifth Vacancy to Be Filled Pending Concurrent Action by Both Bodies

The Security Council, meeting independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly, elected four judges to the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms, beginning on 6 February 2015.

A fifth vacancy remained after four rounds of voting.

From a list of eight candidates, the Council re-elected Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) and Joan E. Donoghue (United States) to their seats, also selecting James Richard Crawford (Australia), Research Professor of Law at Latrobe University; and Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation), Director of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Voting then took place simultaneously in the Security Council and the General Assembly.  Under the terms of the Court’s Statute, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both bodies is considered elected.  In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non-permanent Council members.  By contrast, all 193 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/11579.

The Court’s composition at 6 February 2015, not including the candidate still to be elected, will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses):  Peter Tomka, Slovakia (2021); Ronny Abraham, France (2018); Mohamed Bennouna, Morocco (2024); Dalveer Bhandari, India (2018); Joan E. Donoghue, United States (2024); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade, Brazil (2018); Giorgio Gaja, Italy (2021); Christopher Greenwood, United Kingdom (2018); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Hisashi Owada, Japan (2021); Xue Hanqin, China (2021); Julia Sebutinde, Uganda (2021); Kirill Gevorgian, Russian Federation (2024); 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.  Composed of 15 judges, it adjudicates between States and its legal opinions are binding.  The Court also issues advisory opinions when requested to do so.

The Security Council will reconvene on Friday, 7 November, simultaneously with the General Assembly, to continue the elections.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and suspended at 12:55 p.m.  Resuming at 3:30 p.m., it adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met today, concurrently with but independent from the General Assembly, to elect five members of the International Court of Justice, to replace the five whose terms are set to expire on 5 February 2015.

The Council had before it a memorandum by the Secretary‑General, Election of five members of the International Court of Justice (document A/69/230-S/2014/520), which details the current composition of the Court, members whose terms are expiring and procedures for election of new members; a note by the Secretary‑General containing the list of candidates nominated by national groups (document A/69/253-S/2014/521), of whom there were nine, including Jemal Agatt, whose candidature was withdrawn at the beginning of the meeting, to replace the five members whose terms are expiring; and another note, Election of five members of the International Court of Justice:  curricula vitae of candidates nominated by national groups (document A/69/254-S/2014/522), containing the curricula vitae of those nine candidates.

First Round

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

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Number of abstentions:

0

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

 

Joan E. Donoghue (United States)

14

Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation)

14

James Richard Crawford (Australia)

13

Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)

13

Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina)

9

Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)

8

Sayeman Bula-Bula (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

3

Eugénie Liliane Arivony (Madagascar)

1

 

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, President Gary Quinlan (Australia) announced that the Council would proceed to a second vote on all the candidates.

Second Round

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Number of abstentions:

0

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

 

Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)

14

Joan E. Donoghue (United States)

14

James Richard Crawford (Australia)

13

Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation)

13

Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina)

9

Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)

8

Sayeman Bula-Bula (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

3

Eugénie Liliane Arivony (Madagascar)

1

 

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, Council proceeded to a third vote on all the candidates.

Third Round

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Number of abstentions:

0

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

 

Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation)

15

Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)

14

Joan E. Donoghue (United States)

14

James Richard Crawford (Australia)

13

Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina)

9

Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)

8

Sayeman Bula-Bula (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

2

Eugénie Liliane Arivony (Madagascar)

0

 

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, the Council proceeded to a fourth vote on the candidates.

Fourth Round

Number of ballot papers:

15

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

15

Number of abstentions:

0

Required majority:

8

Number of votes obtained:

 

Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation)

15

Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)

14

Joan E. Donoghue (United States)

14

James Richard Crawford (Australia)

12

Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina)

9

Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)

7

Sayeman Bula-Bula (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

3

Eugénie Liliane Arivony (Madagascar)

0

 

The following candidates received the required majority in the Council:  Mr. Gevorgian (Russian Federation), Mr. Bennouna (Morocco), Ms. Donoghue (United States), Mr. Crawford (Australia) and Ms. Cerutti (Argentina).  The President of the Council then announced that he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly informing him that Mr. Bennouna (Morocco), Ms. Donoghue (United States), Mr. Gevorgian (Russian Federation), Mr. Crawford (Australia) and Mr. Robinson (Jamaica) had obtained the required majority.

As Mr. Gevorgian (Russian Federation), Mr. Bennouna (Morocco), Ms. Donoghue (United States) and Mr. Crawford (Australia) had received the required majority in both the Council and the Assembly, they were elected to the Court.

For information media. Not an official record.