In my post of yesterday I tried to come up with a bit of international law trivia. I asked readers to come with names of ICJ Judges who had been on international tribunals prior to their election to the ICJ. You can see the answers readers came up with in the comments to that post. Many thanks to Martin for noting that Judge Buergenthal was at the ICTY previously. Thanks also Wim Muller for pointing out that Mohamed Bennouna, also currently on the ICJ, also had prior experience of another international tribunal before election to the ICJ. This means that when Judge Sebutinde takes up her position at the Court, there will be three ICJ judges (together with Judge Antonio Cancado Trindade) serving on the bench at the same time who had earlier been judges at other international tribunals. This compares with around 5 previous ICJ judges who had served on international tribunals prior to election to the ICJ.
Thanks also to Tobias and Markos for the names of Lord McNair and Judge Mbaye. However, as Tobias and Markos note, these are examples of Judges going on to international tribunals after they left the ICJ.
The names of other ICJ judges with prior international judicial experience are Sir Humphrey Waldock, who was a Judge and President of the European Court of Human Rights prior to going to the ICJ and President Guerrero who was the first President of the ICJ. The last one is particularly tricky as Judge Guerrero was the last President of the Permanent Court of International Justice. Judge Guerrero was also Vice President of both the PCIJ and the ICJ. Though the ICJ was the continuation of the PCIJ they were technically separate courts so he counts as one who was another international tribunal prior to election to the ICJ.
Other Judges with experience of international judicial or quasi-judicial tribunals prior to going to the ICJ would be Judge Petren (Sweden) who had been a member (and President) of the European Commission of Human Rights and a Judge at the United Nations Administrative Tribunal. Incidentally, Waldock had also been member and President of the European Commission of Human Rights before going to the ECtHR and the ICJ. Judge Higgins had also been a member of the Human Rights Committee before election to the ICJ. I don’t count judges who had served on international arbitral tribunals or conciliation commissions as they were not standing courts or tribunals.
It is interesting to see that most of the British Judges at the ICJ have either had prior international judicial experience or gone to an international tribunal after leaving the ICJ. The exceptions are Hersch Lauterpacht (who sadly died while at the ICJ) and Robert Jennings.