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Four justices elected to international court of justice


10:25, November 11, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council voted independently here on Thursday and elected four new members to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Hanqin Xue of China, Hisashi Owada of Japan, Giorgio Gaja of Italy, and Peter Tomka of Slovakia were selected by the assembly and council in independent votes for nine-year terms as judges on the ICJ.

In addition to these four judges, a fifth was also due to be elected. However, neither of the remaining candidates, Abdul Koroma of Sierra Leone nor Julia Sebutinde of Uganda managed to garner the necessary absolute majority in both UN bodies after seven rounds of voting in each.

As a result, the election to fill the fifth member position will be postponed to a later date that will be announced.

Located at The Hague, the Netherlands, the ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN that settles legal disputes between member states and gives advisory opinions to the UN and its specialized agencies. The ICJ consists of 15 justices, chosen on the basis of their qualifications. Care is taken to ensure that the court does not consist of judges from the same country, and that the principal legal systems of the world are represented on the court.

Xue, Owada, and Tomka will serve their second consecutive term on the court, as justices are permitted to be re-elected. However, no justice can engage in any other occupation during his or her time in office.

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