The Security Council today set 27 April as the date for an election to fill the vacancy on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, resulting from a recent resignation.
In a resolution that was adopted without a vote, the Council noted with “deep regret” the resignation of Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh which took effect on 31 December 2011. His term was to end on 5 February 2018.
According to the Court’s Statute, its judges must be chosen by coordinated actions of both the Council and the General Assembly, with the date of elections determined by the Council.
Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same country. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court.
Established in 1945, and based in The Hague in the Netherlands, the ICJ settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorized UN organs.