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Somali judge elected President of International Court of Justice
February 24, 2018, 2:49 pm

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia has been elected as President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The ICJ is the main legal entity of the United Nations and is responsible for settling disputes between member states and for giving legal advices and opinions to authorized UN bodies and specialized agencies.

Judge Yusuf was elected as the 25th President of the ICJ for a three-year term and succeeds Ronny Abraham of France, whose tenure as ICJ President ended on 6 February. Before heading the top UN judicial body, Judge Yusuf served as vice-president of ICJ from 2015 and was appointed as a judge to the ICJ in 2009. He is only the third African to hold the title of ICJ President since the establishment of the judicial body in 1945. 

Judge Yusuf holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva and completed his post-graduate studies in international law at the University of Florence in Italy. He is a multi-linguist, fluent in Somali, Arabic, English, French, and Italian.

He is the founder and General Editor of the African Yearbook of International Law and one of the founders and chairperson of the Executive Committee of the African Foundation for International Law. Judge Yusuf is also a member of the Institut de droit international (Geneva), a member of the editorial advisory board of the Asian Yearbook of International Law, and a member of the Thessaloniki Institute of Public International Law and International Relations curatorium. He has authored several books and numerous articles on various aspects of international law as well as articles and op-ed pieces in newspapers on current Northeast African and Somali affairs.


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