Changes within the Commission enhance the organization’s capacity to respond to increased threats to rights protection via erosion of the rule of law, particularly in relation to the independence of the judiciary.
The ICJ is pleased to announce new leadership at the ICJ as Professor Robert K. Goldman (US) has been elected President of the organization and Justice Radmila Dragicevic-Dicic (Serbia) has been elected Vice-President, a role she will undertake jointly with Professor Carlos Ayala (Venezuela) who was also appointed Vice-President earlier in the year.
Professor Robert K. Goldman served as Acting President of the ICJ following the sad passing of former President Professor Sir Nigel Rodley in 2017.
The President and Vice-Presidents are supported by the Executive Committee, which has also been bolstered by new members Justice Sir Nicolas Bratza (UK), former President of the European Court of Human Rights; Dame Silvia Cartwright (New Zealand), former Governor-General of New Zealand; and Shawan Jabarin (Palestine), prominent human rights activist and Director General of Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization.
“I am honoured to have been elected President of the ICJ and to be able to work with such proficient and inspiring jurists amongst ICJ leadership and in the wider Commission itself, without whom the ICJ could not provide the expertise and leadership it does on such a wide range of human rights issues,” said Professor Robert K. Goldman, ICJ President.
“Those that have taken on a new role in ICJ leadership will help guide the organization in augmenting efforts to defend the rule of law amidst the current political backdrop of increasing antipathy and hostility towards rights protections,” he added.
In addition to these changes in the senior leadership of the ICJ, the organization is also pleased to welcome five new members:
Justice Chinara Aidarbekova (Kyrgyzstan), judge of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan; Gamal Eid (Egypt), prominent lawyer and human rights defender; Jamesina Essie L. King (Sierra Leone), Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Michael Sfard (Israel), prominent human rights lawyer who has represented many Israeli and Palestinian individuals and organizations; and Ambiga Sreenevasan, former President of the Malaysian Bar Council.
“The ICJ is alarmed by the increasing volume of worldwide attacks on the institutions that uphold human rights both at an international level, where UN mechanisms are constantly condemned rather than supported and enhanced to maximize their efficacy; and also on the local level, for example when we see the independence of the judiciary, an essential element of maintaining rights protections, coming under attack in places like Guatemala, Poland and South Korea,” said Saman Zia-Zarifi, ICJ Secretary-General.
“The ICJ relies on its global advocates of human rights to advance and defend the rights of others through the culmination of their vast and varied expertise and I am pleased to welcome our newest Commissioners to help in this regard, ” said Zia-Zarifi.
A further nine Commissioners were elected to serve additional terms on the Commission:
Professor Roberto Garreton (Chile), Professor Robert K. Goldman, Hina Jilani (Pakistan), Professor Jose Antonio Martin Pallin (Spain), Justice Sanji Monageng (Botswana), Tamara Morschakova (Russia), Dr Jarna Petman (Finland), Belisario dos Santos Jr (Brazil) and Justice Philippe Texier (France).
Hina jilani (Pakistan) and Belisario dos Santos Jr (Brazil) were both also re-elected to the Exectuive Committee and Professor Marco Sassoli (Italy/Switzerland) and Justice Stefan Trechsel (Switzerland) were re-elected as Alternates to the Executive Committee.
On video: Bob Goldman talks about the ICJ and the Rule of Law