ICJ elects new members from Costa Rica, Indonesia, Japan and Venezuela

Today, the ICJ announced that four new members have been elected to its Commission: Dr. Elisabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica), Dr. Adnan Buyung Nasution (Indonesia), Dr. Yow Yokota (Japan), and Dr. Pedro Nikken (Venezuela).

Dr. Elisabeth Odio Benito is a Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (The Hague) since 1994; Professor of Law at the University of Costa Rica; UN Special Rapporteur on Intolerance and Discrimination on Grounds of Religion or Belief; former Member of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and Latin American Representative on the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. Mrs. Odio Benito is also former Minister of Justice of the Republic of Costa Rica (she held the position twice: from 1978-1982 and 1990-1994).

Dr. Adnan Buyung Nasution is a lawyer who is famous for having acted as legal counsel in a number of political and human rights cases in Indonesia; former Member of Parliament; former Public Prosecutor and Head of the Bureau of Public Relations of the Attorney-General’s Office; Co-Founder and Chair of KASI (the Indonesian Intellectual Action Front), and Co-Founder and former Director of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (now the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation). Dr. Nasution is the author of numerous publications on human rights and legal aid and the recipient of International Awards for Legal Aid in 1976 and 1977.

Dr. Yozo Yokota is Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo; UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar (Burma) and alternate Member for Japan in the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities; former Attorney (later Counsel) in the Legal Department of the World Bank; former Professor at the International Christian University, and former Visiting Professor at the University of Adelaide, South Australia and the University of Michigan Law School, USA. Dr. Yokota is also Member of a number of international legal and academic associations and the author of numerous publications.

Dr. Pedro Nikken (photo) is Professor of Civil and International Law at, and former Dean of, the Law School of the Universidad Central de Venezuela; former Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; former Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela; President of the Board of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights; former Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to assist El Salvador on Human Rights, and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Burundi for the Establishment of a “Truth Commission” or an “International Judicial Commission of Enquiry” (1995). He is also the author of numerous publications.

The Commission is the directive authority of the organization. It is composed of distinguished jurists from around the world, representing various legal systems and traditions. New members are elected by a secret vote of all other members of the Commission.

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