Nawaf Salam elected head of International Court of Justice

Former Lebanese ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam, whose name was once floated as a potential PM candidate, has been elected as the head of the International Court of Justice for a three-year period.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati called Salam and congratulated him on the new post.

Salam is the second Arab to be elected as president of the International Court of Justice and the first Lebanese judge.

Born in December 1953, Salam is a diplomat, jurist, and academic. He was elected on November 9, 2017 as a judge on the International Court of Justice for the 2018-2027 term.

He served as Lebanon's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 2007 to 2017, during which he held the positions of President of the Security Council and Vice President of the General Assembly.

Salam received a doctorate in political science from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in 1992, an LLM from Harvard Law School in 1991, a doctorate in history from Sorbonne University in 1979, and a Diploma from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in 1974.

From 1979 to 1981, Salam was a lecturer on the contemporary history of the Middle East at Sorbonne University. In 1981, he left Paris to spend an academic year as a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Between 1985 and 1989, he was a lecturer at the American University of Beirut, during which time he also practiced law as an associate at Takla Law Firm. He was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School from 1989 to 1990, and a foreign legal consultant at Edwards & Angell LLP from 1989 to 1992.

He resumed his practice at the Takla Law Firm in 1992 as well as his teaching of International Law and International Relations at the American University of Beirut. He was appointed Visiting associate professor of Political Science in 2003, and later associate professor of Political Science in 2005. From 2005 to 2006, he was the Chairman of the Political Studies and Public Administration Department.

Salam served as a member of the Executive Bureau of the Economic and Social Council of Lebanon from 1999 to 2002 and as a member of the Lebanese National Commission of UNESCO from 2000 to 2004.

In 2005 and 2006, he was a member and Secretary General of The National Commission on Electoral Reform which was entrusted with the task of preparing the draft of a new electoral law for Lebanon. He has also served on the board of trustees of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to produce and advocate policies that improve governance in Lebanon and the Arab world.

In 1996, he co-founded the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE), a non-governmental monitoring organization that works to promote the fair and transparent conduct of parliamentary and municipal elections.

Salam's mandate at the U.N. was marked by his repeated interventions before the Security Council calling for security and stability in South Lebanon through the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, promoting the policy of "disassociation" from the Syrian conflict, and seeking an end to impunity through the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the matter of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Salam was awarded in 2012 the French Legion of Honor (Légion d'honneur) at the rank of Officer (Officier) by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Salam has written books and articles on political and constitutional reform, electoral law reform, overcoming sectarianism, and fighting corruption and promoting accountability through strengthening the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. He has also written on the question of citizenship and civil society in the Arab world as well as on the development of international law.

Source: Naharnet

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