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Lebanese Judge Nawaf Salam Elected As ICJ’s New President

Nawaf Salam was elected president of the ICJ in The Hague, succeeding US Judge Joan Donoghue. This significant milestone marks him as the first Lebanese and second Arab to hold this prestigious position for a three-year term.

Distinguished Career Path

Salam’s journey with the ICJ began in 2018, and he currently holds the highest judicial position globally. His appointment highlights his remarkable trajectory within the field of international law.

ICJ’s Role and Function

As the principal judicial body of the United Nations, the ICJ is responsible for adjudicating legal disputes between states and providing advisory opinions on legal questions referred to by UN organs and specialized agencies.

Lebanon’s Storied Connection

Salam follows in the footsteps of former Lebanese Foreign Minister Fouad Ammoun, who served as a judge in the ICJ from 1965 to 1976. Lebanon’s historical association with the ICJ underscores its commitment to global justice.

Multifaceted Diplomat

Before joining the ICJ, Salam served as Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN from 2007 to 2017, gaining valuable experience in multilateral diplomacy. His representation in the Security Council further enriched his diplomatic credentials.

Academic Achievements

Salam’s academic contributions are noteworthy, having taught contemporary history at Sorbonne University and international relations and law at the American University of Beirut. He headed the Department of Political Science and Public Administration from 2005 to 2007.

Educational Background

Salam’s educational qualifications include a state doctorate in political science from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, a doctorate in history from Sorbonne University, and a master’s degree in laws from Harvard University.

Intellectual Contributions

Salam has authored numerous books on politics, history, and law, showcasing his intellectual prowess. His most recent work, “Lebanon Between Past and Future,” published in 2021, provides valuable insights into Lebanon’s complex socio-political landscape.

Global Recognition

Salam’s election as ICJ president not only highlights the importance of diversity within the Court but also recognizes the outstanding qualifications and capabilities of a Lebanese jurist poised to shape international justice in the years to come.


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