Jamaican Elected to International Tribunal for Law of the Sea

Dr. Kathy-Ann Brown

(International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea) Seven Members of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea have been elected this week by the Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The election took place from 24 to 26 August 2020, during the first in-person meeting held in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York since the lockdown in March 2020.

The States Parties re-elected Judge Attard and Judge Kulyk and elected Ms. Kathy-Ann Brown (Jamaica), Ms Ida Caracciolo (Italy), Mr Jielong Duan (China), Ms María Teresa Infante Caffi (Chile), and Mr Maurice Kamga (Cameroon). The judges were elected for a term of nine years commencing on 1 October 2020.

The biographies of the newly elected judges, Ms Brown, Ms Caracciolo,
Mr Duan, Ms Infante Caffi, and Mr Kamga, may be found in document
SPLOS/30/CRP.1, available on the website of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, and those of the re-elected judges are available on the website of the Tribunal.

Elections for one third of the judges of the Tribunal are held every three years at the Meeting of States Parties. The judges are elected by the States Parties to the Convention by secret ballot for a term of nine years and may be re-elected. In accordance with article 2 of the Tribunal’s Statute, each State Party may nominate up to two candidates from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognised competence in the field of the law of the sea.

The Statute requires that equitable geographical distribution be assured among the Members and that the principal legal systems of the world be
represented. It further stipulates that there should be at least three Judges from each geographical group as established by the General Assembly of the United Nations and that no two judges may be of the same nationality. The persons elected shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of the States Parties present and voting, provided that such majority includes a majority of the States Parties.

The newly-elected Judges will be sworn in during the fiftieth administrative
session of the Tribunal on 1 October 2020. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic it is envisaged that the swearing-in ceremony will be held in a hybrid format with some judges present in the courtroom and those unable to travel to Hamburg attending via video conference link from their homes. The ceremony will be streamed live on the Tribunal’s website.

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