SLOVAKIA'S former ambassador to the UN in New York, Peter Tomka, was sworn in as a new judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.
Tomka, 46, is no stranger to the court. He represented Slovakia in the Hague in a dispute with Hungary over the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project more than five years ago.
He is the first citizen from former Czechoslovakia to become a judge of this high-profile institution, although eight Czechoslovak candidates have sought to join the bench in its 80-year history.
"I am certainly pleased to have been chosen for this position. I consider it a recognition for Slovak jurisprudence as well as that of former Czechoslovakia, since my law studies and early career are linked to Prague," Tomka told the TASR news agency prior to the ceremony.
Tomka's colleagues hail from China, Madagascar, France, Sierra Leone, Russia, Britain, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Brazil, Jordan, the US, Egypt, Japan, and Germany.
24. Feb 2003 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA