Foreign Minister Maas on the election of Professor Georg Nolte as a judge at the International Court of Justice

12.11.2020 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (12 November) on the election of Professor Georg Nolte as a judge at the International Court of Justice:

I congratulate Professor Georg Nolte on his election as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Professor Nolte is an exceptionally well-qualified jurist with an excellent international reputation. Thanks to his expertise, impartiality and integrity, his appointment will strengthen the ICJ in these extremely challenging times.

The result of today’s election is also a vote of confidence in Germany and German public international law. For us, it is both a validation of our commitment to a rules-based international order and an obligation to do everything in our power to continue our efforts in this field.

Background information:

The International Court of Justice in The Hague is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It plays a significant role in safeguarding and further developing international law and contributes decisively to its implementation.

Five judicial positions on the ICJ are filled at regular elections every three years. The judges are elected for nine-year terms and can be re-elected. Elections are held simultaneously in the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.

Five of the 15 judicial seats on the ICJ were up for election in 2020. They had previously been filled by judges from the following regional groups: Western Europe and Other (WEOG that includes Germany) (1), Asia (2), Africa (1) and Eastern Europe (1).

There were a total of eight candidates proposed by the following countries: Germany (Professor Georg Nolte), Slovakia (Judge Tomka standing for re-election), Japan (Judge Iwasawa standing for re-election), China (Judge Xue standing for re-election), Uganda (Judge Sebitunde standing for re-election), Croatia (Professor Maja Seršić), Nigeria (Dr Taoheed Olufemi Elias) and Rwanda (Emmanuel Ugirashebuja).

The seat traditionally held by WEOG was last filled by Italy, but the judge was not standing for re-election.

The elections were won by Professor Nolte (Germany), Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Xue Hanqin (China), Peter Tomka (Slovakia) and Julia Sebutinde (Uganda).

Professor Nolte’s nine-year term of office will begin on 6 February 2021.

The last German judge on the bench of the ICJ was international law professor Bruno Simma, who served until February 2012.


Top of page