Seventy-eighth Session,
31st Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Elects Five Judges to International Court of Justice

The General Assembly today elected five new judges for the International Court of Justice in The Hague to begin their term 6 February 2024, acting simultaneously but separately with the Security Council (See Press Release SC/15485).

Bogdan-Lucian Aurescu (Romania), Hilary Charlesworth (Australia), Sarah Hull Cleveland (United States), Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo Verduzco (Mexico) and Dire Tladi (South Africa) were elected by secret ballot, receiving an absolute majority of votes by the 193-member Assembly.

Before announcing the results, Assembly Vice-President Peter Mohan Maithri Pieris (Sri Lanka) explained that an absolute majority means a majority of all 193 electors, whether they vote or are allowed to vote.

The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges. To ensure a degree of continuity, one-third of the Court is elected every three years and judges are eligible for re-election.

Ms. Charlesworth, a current judge on the Court, is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and has a Doctor of Juridical Science from Harvard Law School.  She is a member of the Curatorium of the prestigious The Hague Academy of International Law and has been President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law.

Ms. Hull Cleveland is the Louis Henkin professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and the Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School.  Since 2020, she has served as a member of the ad hoc Conciliation Commission, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Mr. Gómez Robledo Verduzco, who currently serves as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Mexico, is a former member of the International Law Commission in which he acted as Special Rapporteur on the Provisional Application of Treaties.  He holds a doctorate degree in law from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Mr. Aurescu, a professor at the Public Law Department of the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, is a member of the International Law Commission and Co-Chair, within the Commission, of the Study Group on sea-level rise in relation to international law.  He has served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania.

Mr. Tladi, a professor of International Law at the University of Pretoria, is also currently a member of the International Law Commission, and its Special Rapporteur on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus cogens).  He was previously Legal Adviser for the South African Mission in New York and Special Adviser to the South African Foreign Minister. 

The present judges, whose terms of office expire on 5 February 2024 are President Joan Donoghue (United States), Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation), Judge Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco), Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica) and Judge Hilary Charlesworth (Australia).

Prior to voting, Member States had before them a memorandum of the Secretary-General on the present composition of the Court and the procedure to be followed in the Assembly and Security Council regarding the election (document A/78/97) as well as notes from the Secretary-General with the list of candidates nominated by the national groups (document A/78/98) and their curricula vitae (document A/78/99).

The 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 worldwide of high moral character, impartiality and integrity.  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.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the “World Court”, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, 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 UN Member States.

The remaining 10 judges who currently sit on the Court and whose terms expire in either 2027 or 2030 are Judge Peter Tomka (Slovakia), Judge Ronny Abraham (France), Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), Judge Xue Hanqin (China), Judge Julia Sebutinde (Uganda), Judge Dalveer Bhandari (India), Judge Nawaf Salam (Lebanon), Judge Iwasawa Yuji (Japan), Judge Georg Nolte (Germany) and Judge Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant (Brazil).


The results of the voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:192
Number of invalid ballots:0
Number of valid ballots:192
Number of Members voting:192
Required majority:97
Number of votes obtained: 
Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo Verduzco143
Sarah Hull Cleveland135
Bogdan-Lucian Aurescu117
Hilary Charlesworth117
Dire Tladi113
Ahmed Amin Fathalla81
Chaloka Beyani81
Kirill Gevorgian77
Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua65


For information media. Not an official record.