[Dateline: New York | Author: Department of Management]
A key step towards the introduction of the new system of administration of justice was taken this week: on Monday, 2 March 2009, the General Assembly elected the judges who will serve in the new system. Five judges – three full-time and two half-time - were appointed to the UN Dispute Tribunal, which will be the first judicial instance, and seven judges were appointed to the UN Appeals Tribunal, the appellate instance.
A rigorous selection process
For the first time, judges were elected based on recommendations from an independent body, the Internal Justice Council, consisting of members nominated both by staff and by management. The search for judge candidates began in June 2008. The positions were widely advertised, including in the international media.
The Internal Justice Council reviewed applications during July and August and interviewed short-listed candidates in September 2008. The short-listed candidates also had to complete a two-hour written examination. To assure itself of the integrity of the candidates, the Council contacted the relevant bar associations and the International Bar Association.
The UN Dispute Tribunal will be established in Geneva, Nairobi and New York, and will operate on a full-time basis. The UN Appeals Tribunal will sit in sessions, similar to the current UN Administrative Tribunal, normally one held in New York and one in Geneva.
As decided by the General Assembly, the new Tribunals shall become operational as of 1 July 2009.
Who are the judges?
The judges appointed by the General Assembly are the following:
NOTE: Biographical details are contained in the Report of the Internal Justice Council ( A/63/489 )
Full time judges of the UN Dispute Tribunal
Geneva: Mr. Thomas Laker (Germany)
Nairobi: Mr. Vinood Boolell (Mauritius)
New York: Ms. Memooda Ebrahim-Carstens (Botswana)
Half-time judges of the UN Dispute Tribunal
Mr. Goolam Hoosen Kader Meeran (United Kingdom)
Ms. Coral Shaw (New Zealand)
Judges of the UN Appeals Tribunal
Ms. Sophia Adinyira (Ghana)
Ms. Rose Boyko (Canada)
Mr. Jean Courtial (France)
Mr. Marl P. Painter (United States)
Mr. Luis María Simón (Uruguay)
Mr. Kamaljit Singh Garewal (India)
Ms. Inés Weinberg de Roca (Argentina)
It is expected that in the coming weeks the General Assembly will also appoint three ad litem - or temporary - judges, who will serve on the UN Dispute Tribunal for its first 12 months. This had been proposed by the Secretary-General as a means of strengthening the capacity of the UN DT during its first year, in view of the large number of unfinished cases expected to be transferred to it from the present system.
Report of the Internal Justice Council (A/63/489)
Appointment of the full-time and half-time judges of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (A/63/700)