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5 judges elected to International Court of Justice

5 judges elected to International Court of Justice

The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council today elected five judges to fill upcoming vacancies at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In separate voting among its membership, the Assembly and Council agreed to the same five candidates out of 10 on the first ballot. To be elected, each nominee needed to receive a simple majority in each body.

Elected today were Hisashi Owada of Japan, Shi Jiuyong of China, Peter Tomka of Slovakia, Abdul G. Koroma of Sierra Leone and Bruno Simma of Germany.

Both Mr. Shi and Mr. Koroma were incumbents on the ICJ. The new judges will begin their nine-year terms on 6 February 2003.

Since 1994, Mr. Shi has served on the Court, acting as its Vice-President since February 2000. In addition to working extensively in his own country, Mr. Shi's background includes service on the International Law Commission, which he chaired in 1990. Mr. Koroma similarly worked extensively in both Sierra Leone and in the international arena, including on several UN law-related bodies such as the General Assembly's Legal Committee.

Mr. Owada has a solid diplomatic background, having served as Japan's Ambassador to the UN and having worked at a number of Japanese embassies, including in Moscow and Washington. Mr. Simma is a member of the overseas faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, and has worked as Counsel to several countries in proceedings at the ICJ. Mr. Tomka, who has been serving as Slovakia's Ambassador to the UN, represented his country in a case before the ICJ in 1993.