Appointment of new ICJ Secretary General

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today announced the appointment of a new Secretary General, Ms Louise Doswald-Beck.

Ms Doswald-Beck is the first woman to be appointed to the Secretary-General position in the near 50 year history of the organisation.

Ms Doswald-Beck has extensive experience in both human rights and humanitarian law. Prior to her appointment at the ICJ, she was Head of the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Ms Doswald-Beck represented that organisation to the Conference on an International Criminal Court at which the ICRC played a critical role in the establishing the list and elements of war crimes contained in the Court’s Statute. She has previously lectured in Human Rights and Public International law at University College, London and has provided human rights and humanitarian law training to a diverse and international audience. She has published extensively on key legal issues including the scope of self determination, customary international humanitarian law and the impact of new technology and weaponry (eg lasers) on existing law.

Apart from her legal expertise, Ms Doswald-Beck is a strong manager with demonstrated experience of working with teams from diverse cultural backgrounds and a proven track record in negotiation and representation, including to governments and the media. Ms Doswald-Beck is British born and holds degrees from the Universities of Bristol and London. She is a barrister at Inner Temple, London and bilingual in English and French.

Ms Doswald-Beck looks forward to taking up her appointment. “I want to build on the professional legal expertise of the ICJ and its international network of sections and affiliates to ensure that the Rule of Law is observed around the world and in all its dimensions; civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Through capacity-building, especially of the judiciary and civil society, we will continue to work towards the effective implementation of human rights standards “.

It is expected that Ms Doswald-Beck will formally assume the office of Secretary General by the end of the first quarter of 2001. She replaces Mr Adama Dieng who completed a ten year mandate as Secretary General earlier this year.

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