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Monday, 05 February 2024 15:36

SA's first World Court judge Dire Tladi to be sworn in tomorrow.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Professsor Dire Tladi will be sworn in as a judge of the International Court of Justice after being elected by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

The ICJ said Tladi will be sworn in on Tuesday at The Hague and he will be joined by Bogdan-Lucian Aurescue of Romania, Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo Verduzco of Mexico and Sarah Hull of the US as new judges of the World Court.

Tladi, who was professor of international law at the University of Pretoria, has served in many roles in government and outside.

He previously served as special adviser to the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation and legal adviser to the South African mission in New York.

The UN elected the four new members in November last year and they will now serve as judges of the ICJ.

The ICJ confirmed a few days ago that the court will sit on Tuesday for the swearing in of Tladi, Aurescue, Verduzco and Hull.

"During the sitting, they will each make the solemn declaration provided for in article 20 of the statute of the court, which stipulates that members shall, before taking up their duties, make a solemn declaration in open court that they will exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously. The members' nine-year terms of office will begin the same day," said the ICJ.

When he was elected to the top UN court, President Cyril Ramaphosa had said Tladi was an outstanding jurist.

"Professor Tladi's election as a judge of the International Court of Justice is an outstanding personal achievement in which the nation shares with great pride.

South Africa recently won its case in the ICJ where it challenged Israel's military operations in Gaza.

Pretoria had sought provisional measures against Israel to stop the killing of Palestinians.

More than 27,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October last year when Hamas attacked Israel.


Tladi is a leading international law scholar and Professor of International Law at the University of Pretoria, whose accomplishments span different areas of the field, including academic, government service, diplomacy and practice.

He serves as President of the South African Branch of the International Law Association and executive member of the International Law Association.

Tladi also served as Chair of the International Law Commission, an organ of the UN generally regarded as a feeder body for the International Court of Justice.

He was previously Legal Adviser of the South African Mission in New York and Special Adviser to South African Ministers of international relations.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice, one of the six principal bodies of the UN, is the principal judicial organ of the world body.

The Court's role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorised United Nations organs and specialised agencies.