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Lebanese judge elected president of ICJ

February 7, 2024 at 11:37 am

Lebanese Judge Nawaf Salam was elected president of the International Court of Justice on 6 February 2024 [ICJ]

Lebanese Judge Nawaf Salam was elected president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) yesterday by his peers, for a term of three years, the World Court said in a statement.

President Salam has been a member of the court since 6 February 2018. Before joining the court, he was ambassador and permanent representative of Lebanon to the United Nations in New York from July 2007 to December 2017.

He follows American Judge Joan E. Donoghue, who was president from 2021 until 5 February 2024. Donoghue led the court when it mandated provisional measures against Israel on 26 January, demanding Tel Aviv report to the court one month after the issued order to demonstrate steps taken to prevent genocide in Gaza.

Salam was among the 17 judges at the ICJ tasked with issuing the order following South Africa’s genocide allegations against Israel.

Judge Julia Sebutinde of Uganda was elected vice-president of the ICJ in the same ballot. Sebutinde was the only judge to vote against all measures which were approved by the ICJ against Israel last month, including for allowing access to humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Her actions saw the government of Uganda distance itself from her. In a post on X, Uganda’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, stated that “Justice Sebutinde’s ruling at the International Court of Justice does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine.”

He clarified that “She has previously voted against Uganda’s case on DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. Uganda’s support for the plight of the Palestinian people has been expressed through Uganda ‘s voting pattern at the United Nations.”

WATCH: A look at Israel’s actions a week after ICJ found ‘plausible’ evidence of genocide