General Assembly: 27th plenary meeting, 76th session
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General Assembly: 27th plenary meeting, 76th session

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Meeting concurrently with the Security Council, the General Assembly today elected one judge out of a pool of two candidates for the International Court of Justice in The Hague to serve a term beginning today, 5 November 2021, and ending 5 February 2024.

Elected by secret ballot was Hilary Charlesworth (Australia), who received an absolute majority of votes cast by the 193 Member States of the United Nations. She will replace James Richard Crawford, also of Australia, who died on 31 May 2021.

Assembly President Abdulla Shahid (Maldives) announced the results, reading a letter from the Security Council President stating that Ms. Charlesworth received the majority of votes from the organ’s 15 members.

Voting took place simultaneously in the Security Council and the General Assembly. (For Security Council results, please see Press Release SC/14689.)

Ms. Charlesworth has served as barrister and solicitor of the High Court of Australia, as well as Supreme Court of Victoria, since 1981 and has held the Harrison Moore Chair in Law at the University of Melbourne since 2021. She has served as Melbourne Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne since 2016 and as Distinguished Professor, College of Asia and the Pacific, at the Australian National University since 2010. Ms. Charlesworth has also been a Judge ad hoc for the International Court of Justice in the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v Venezuela) case since 2019.

Prior to voting, Member States had before them a memorandum from the Secretary‑General (document A/76/337) detailing the Court’s current composition and procedure to be followed in the Assembly and Council during the election, a list of candidates nominated by national groups (document A/76/338) and the curricula vitae of the candidates (document A/76/339).

The Court’s justices are elected by obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both the Assembly and the Council, without regard to their nationality, from among persons of high moral character worldwide. Each must have qualifications required in his or her respective country for appointment to the highest judicial office or be a jurisconsult of recognized competencies in international law. Each country may have only one judge, who may engage in no other occupation during the term of office.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice settles legal disputes between States parties and gives advisory opinions to the Organization, as well as its specialized agencies. The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all Member States of the United Nations.

The remaining 14 judges sitting on the Court, whose terms expire either in 2024 or 2027, are its President, Joan E. Donoghue (United States); Vice-President, Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation); Peter Tomka (Slovakia); Ronny Abraham (France); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil); Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia); Xue Hanqin (China); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda); Dalveer Bhandari (India); Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica); Nawaf Salam (Lebanon); Iwasawa Yuji (Japan); and Georg Nolte (Germany).

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on 8 November, Monday to discuss the revitalization of its work.