Bogdan Aurescu becomes first Romanian judge at the International Court of Justice
Former Romanian minister Bogdan Aurescu was sworn in as a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the most important judicial body of the UN, on Tuesday, February 6.
Aurescu won the mandate of judge in November 2023, by an overwhelming vote of the General Assembly and the UN Security Council, against a Russian candidate. He is the first Romanian to hold this position since the creation of the ICJ in 1945.
In the UN system, the position of a judge at the International Court of Justice is equivalent to that of the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN. For the first time since the Court's establishment, Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, no longer has a judge at the ICJ.
"A great honour to be sworn in today in the Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace in The Hague, as judge of the UN International Court of Justice. Proud to be the first ever Romanian judge of the World Court since its creation in 1945," Bogdan Aurescu conveyed in a post on X.
The ICJ establishes and decides the political and territorial map of the world by resolving complex conflicts between states, as happened exactly 15 years ago in February 2009, when Aurescu, then the Agent (representative) of Romania before the ICJ, won 9,700 km2 of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone for Romania. It was the only extension of sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Romania since the Great Union of 1918.
Bogdan Aurescu's candidacy was supported by a coalition of diverse states, not just as a regional candidate, even though he ran for the position of ICJ judge from Eastern Europe. The countries that co-nominated him were the Netherlands, Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and New Zealand.
Since September 2004, Bogdan Aurescu has been Romania's Agent for the International Court of Justice. He has also been a member of the Venice Commission (alternate member since 2002), with 30 opinions, studies, and reports co-authored. Additionally, he is a member of the prestigious UN International Law Commission, serving his second term (first term – 2017-2022; second term – 2023-2027).
Aurescu is a university professor in the Department of Public Law at the Faculty of Law – University of Bucharest, where he teaches Public International Law, Organizations and International Relations, and International Jurisdictions.
On February 26, 2022, Ukraine filed a request to initiate proceedings against the Russian Federation at the ICJ, and on May 18, 2022, Romania decided to intervene in favor of Ukraine at the International Court of Justice, in the proceedings launched against the Russian Federation. Romania's request for intervention was submitted to the ICJ in September 2022, with Bogdan Aurescu being Romania's Agent in this process.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos | George Calin)