A prominent French jurist was elected today to fill a vacancy on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations' principal judicial organ for settling disputes between States.
Ronny Abraham was chosen in separate balloting conducted concurrently by both the Security Council and the General Assembly, as required by the Court's statute. He was the lone candidate to succeed Judge and former ICJ President Gilbert Guillaume, and will complete the remainder of Judge Guillaume's nine-year term, which expires on 5 February 2009.
Judge Guillaume was first elected a member of the Court on 14 September 1987 and was twice re-elected in February 1991 and February 2000.
The composition of the Court will now be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parenthesis): Ronny Abraham of France (2009); Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of Jordan (2009); Thomas Buergenthal of the United States (2006); Nabil Elaraby of Egypt (2006); Rosalyn Higgins of the United Kingdom (2009); Shi Jiuyong of China (2012); Pieter H. Kooijmans of the Netherlands (2006); Abdul G. Koroma of Sierra Leone (2012); Hisashi Owada of Japan (2012); Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren of Venezuela (2009); Raymond Ranjeva of Madagascar (2009); Francisco Rezek of Brazil (2006); Bruno Simma of Germany (2012); Peter Tomka of Slovakia (2012); and Vladlen S. Vereshchetin of the Russian Federation (2006).
The Court is located in The Hague and in addition to adjudicating disputes between States, it gives advisory opinions to the United Nations and the specialized agencies when requested to do so.