Who are the newly elected ICJ judges?
By Justice Hub
Every three years, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gets an infusion of fresh blood. One third of the judges – five of the fifteen – are up for re-election or are replaced.
The ICJ is the highest court of the United Nations. It’s the place that states go to when they need to get a ruling that another state has lived up to its obligations – or not.
The ICJ settles boundaries, agrees huge compensations and can mean a state is lauded or held in ignominy. This year the court said that Japan was illegally whaling. That made the news!
The position of judge at the ICJ requires persons of “high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or just juris consults of recognized competence in international law”. (Source: ICJ)
There’s is a complicated voting procedure, conducted by the United Nations Security Council and United Nations General Assembly. The judges have to get an absolute majority in both places – at least 8 votes at the UNSC and at least 97 votes at the General Assembly. (Source: UN)
So, who are the men and women who make decisions about international law? Who are the new elected judges?
Mohamed Bennouna (1943) Re-elected
- From Marrakech, Morocco
- He has a Ph.D in international law and was professor and dean at the Faculty of Law in Rabat, Morocco
- Between 1998 and 2001, he was a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- From 2001 to 2006, he was the permanent representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations
- First elected to the ICJ in 2006
Joan E. Donoghue(1957) Re-elected
- Graduated in Russian studies and biology. Attended law school at the Boalt Hall School of Law and got her Ph.D at Berkeley University
- She served as a legal adviser in the famous ICJ case Nicaragua vs United States of America
- Between 2007 and 2010 worked for the US State Department as a principal deputy legal adviser, advising state career attorneys, the Secretary and other senior officials
- First elected in 2010 to replace previous US judge Thomas Buergenthal to fill the remainder of his 9-year mandate
(Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen)
James Richard Crawford (1948)
- Born in Adelaide, Australia
- Graduated in English and history, and graduated first of his LLB class with honours
- He has honorary doctorates from several universities, including Pázmány Péter Catholic University of Budapest, the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne and University of Amsterdam
- Whewell Professor of international law at Cambridge University
- Member of the Matrix Chambers in London
- He was nominated by the Australian government as an ICJ judge in 2012
(Photo: Russian Embassy)
Kirill Gevorgian (1953)
- Born in Moscow, Russia
- Graduated and made a major in the Moscow Institute of International Relations
- Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands, and head of the legal department in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and Member of the International Law Commission (ILC)
Patrick Lipton Robinson (1944)
(Source: Robert Goddijn)
- Born in Jamaica
- Holds a BA in English, Latin and Economics from the University College of the West Indies. And LLB with honours from the London University and an LLM in International Law from King’s College in the areas of the Law of the Sea, Law of the Air, Treaties and Armed Conflict
- Former President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- Presided over the case of Slobodan Milosevic, making the former Yugoslav president the first former head of state to be tried for war crimes