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Tomka named international court judge

PETER Tomka, Slovakia's ambassador to the United Nations (UN), was elected one of five judges to preside in the International Court of Justice based at The Hague, Netherlands.

The court deals with international disputes between nations. In an election October 21, Tomka received 149 votes, far exceeding the required 96 votes to win the seat. The 191-member UN General Assembly and the 15-member Security Council both voted in a secret ballot.

The remaining four elected judges were Hisashi Owada from Japan, president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs; Shi Jiuyong from China, the current vice-president of the International Court of Justice; Abdul Koroma from Sierra Leone, a lawyer and former ambassador; and Bruno Simma from Germany, a member of the UN International Law Commission.

The justices will start serving nine-year terms at the court in February next year.

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