Security Council, General Assembly, Elect Four Judges to International Court of Justice

SC/13063
9 November 2017
8092nd & 8093rd Meetings (AM, PM & Night)

Security Council, General Assembly, Elect Four Judges to International Court of Justice

Fifth Vacancy to Be Filled Pending Concurrent Action by Both Organs

The Security Council, meeting twice today independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly, elected four candidates to the International Court of Justice for nine‑year terms, beginning on 6 February 2018.

In the election, six candidates were contesting five positions for nine‑year terms, beginning on 6 February 2018.  Five of the candidates are current members of the International Court of Justice:  Ronny Abraham (France), the incumbent President of the Court; Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), the incumbent Vice‑President; Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil); Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom); and Dalveer Bhandari (India).  The sixth candidate is Nawaf Salam, currently the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations.

After five rounds of voting, the Council re‑elected Mr. Abraham, Mr. Cançado Trindade and Mr. Yusuf to their seats, also selecting Mr. Salam.

Voting 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/11971.

The Court’s composition on 6 February 2018, not including the candidate still to be elected, will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses):  Ronny Abraham (France) (2027); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) (2024); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) (2027); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Joan E. Donoghue (United States) (2024); Giorgio Gaja (Italy) (2021); Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation) (2024); Xue Hanqin (China) (2021); Hisashi Owada (Japan) (2021); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) (2021); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2021); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2027).

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 meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and was suspended at 12:55 p.m.  Resuming at 4:13 p.m., it ended at 6:53 p.m.

First Round of Voting

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:

 

Ronny Abraham (France)

15

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

11

Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)

11

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

14

Nawaf Salam (Lebanon)

11

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)

12

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), Council President for the month of November, announced that the 15‑member organ would proceed to a second vote on all the candidates.

Second Round of Voting

The results of the second 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:

 

Ronny Abraham (France)

15

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

10

Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)

11

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

14

Nawaf Salam (Lebanon)

11

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)

12

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, Mr. Cardi announced that the Council would proceed to a second vote on all the candidates.

Third Round of Voting

The results of the third 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:

 

Ronny Abraham (France)

15

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

9

Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)

8

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

13

Nawaf Salam (Lebanon)

10

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)

11

As more than five candidates had obtained the absolute majority, Mr. Cardi announced that the Council would proceed to a fourth vote on all the candidates.

Fourth Round of Voting

The results of the fourth 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:

 

Ronny Abraham (France)

15

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

7

Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)

10

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

12

Nawaf Salam (Lebanon)

12

Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)

10

The following candidates received the absolute majority in the Council:  Ronny Abraham (France), Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil), Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom), Nawaf Salam (Lebanon) and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia).

Mr. Cardi then announced that he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly informing him that Mr. Abraham, Mr. Cançado Trindade, Mr. Salam and Mr. Yusuf had acquired the required majority in the Assembly.

As Mr. Abraham, Mr. Cançado Trindade, Mr. Salam and Mr. Yusuf had received the required majority in both the Council and the Assembly, they were elected to the Court.

Mr. Cardi then adjourned the meeting and immediately called a second meeting to elect the remaining candidate.

Fifth Round of Voting

The results of the fifth 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:

 

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

6

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

9

The following candidate received the absolute majority in the Council:  Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom).

Mr. Cardi then announced that he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly informing him that Mr. Bhandari had acquired the required majority in the Assembly.

The Council will continue elections on Monday, 13 November.

For information media. Not an official record.