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Updated on 19 December 2014


Section 4:   International Court of Justice


Differing votes in the Council and Assembly when electing ICJ judges

In voting which took place on 6 November 2014, the Security Council and the General Assembly simultaneously gave an absolute majority to four candidates for judges of the International Court of Justice, who were thereby elected.  However, for the fifth vacancy, the Assembly gave an absolute majority to Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica), while the Council gave an absolute majority to Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina) (S/PV.7297 and Resumption 1).  In voting which continued the following day, the same situation prevailed through several further rounds of balloting in the two UN organs (S/PV.7298 – S/PV.7304). 


Four days later, the representative of Argentina wrote to the Secretary-General and the Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.  In her letters, she underlined Argentina’s “unwavering commitment to the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean region” and then conveyed that the candidature of Ruiz Cerutti had been withdrawn (S/2014/808).  When the Assembly and Council next met again on 17 November to conduct further balloting, Robinson received an absolute majority once again in the Assembly, and this time affirmative votes from all 15 Council members, and was thereby elected (S/PV.7313). 


Thus for the second consecutive round of full ICJ elections, when two different candidates received an absolute majority, respectively, in the Assembly and in the Council, it was the candidate who had prevailed in the Assembly who was ultimately elected, albeit through a different process each time. 


(This update supplements pages 600-601 of the book.)



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