International Court of Justice

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Current Members


Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh

(Member of the Court since 6 February 2000; Vice-President of the Court from 6 February 2006 to 5 February 2009)

Born in Amman, Jordan, on 22 February 1950.

Primary and secondary education at the Islamic Educational College of Amman. University education at Cambridge University (Queens’ College) history and law, postgraduate studies in international law. M.A. LL.M. (Cantab.); (Honorary Fellow of Queens’ College).

Joined the Jordanian diplomatic service in 1975. Second Secretary, then First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Jordan to the United Nations in New York (1976-1980). Ministry of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for international organizations and international law (1980-1985). Head of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1985-1990). Seconded to the Royal Court (1990). Ambassador (1992). Adviser to the King and Adviser of the State on International Law with the rank of Cabinet Minister (1995). Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court (1996-1998).

Member of the Jordanian Royal Commission on Legislative and Administrative Reform (1994-1996).

Chairman of the Jordanian National Group on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (1998-2006).

Representative of Jordan at 19 sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations (the Sixth (Legal) Committee) (since 1976). Jordan’s alternate representative on the Security Council (1981-1982). Member of most Jordanian delegations to meetings of the Arab League, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Organization of the Islamic Conference held in the years 1980-1988. Member of, and Legal Adviser to, the Jordanian delegation to the peace negotiations in the Middle East (1991-1994).

Representative of Jordan at the following conferences and committees in the field of the codification and progressive development of international law: Ad Hoc Committee on the Drafting of an International Convention against the Taking of Hostages (1977-1980); United Nations Conference on Succession of States in Respect of Treaties, Second Session (1978); United Nations Conference on Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives and Debts (1982). Chairman of the Drafting Committee at the United Nations Conference on the Law of Treaties Between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (1986). Rome Conference on the drafting of a Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (1988).

Member of the Arab International Law Commission (1982-1989).

Member of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1984-1993). Chairman of the Sub-Commission (1993).

Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the human rights dimensions of forcible population transfer.

Chairman of Commission IV, Unesco General Conference (1993).

Member of the International Law Commission (1986-1999).

Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (since 1999). Arbitrator in The Government of Sudan/The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (Abyei Arbitration) (2008–2009).

Member of the International Law Association, Chairman of the Committee on Islamic Law and International Law since 2003.

Member of the Board of Editors, Palestine Yearbook of International Law.

Member of the Council of the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Lectured and participated widely in academic seminars at various universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, London, Geneva and universities in Jordan.

Publications: three reports on the human rights dimensions of forcible population transfers, to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 1993-1997; “General Principles and Methods for Executing a New Convention”, in Environmental Protection and the Law of War, London, New York,(1992; “The International Law Commission and Middle East Waters” in Water in the Middle East: Legal, Political and Commercial Implications, London, New York, 1995.

Honours: Al-Istiqlal Order, First Class (1993); Al-Kawkab Order, First Class (1996); Al-Nahda Order, First Class (1996) (Jordan). Légion d’Honneur, Grand Officier (1997) (France).