Future Africa Congratulates Prof Dire Tladi on Historic Appointment as Judge of the International Court of Justice

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10 November, Pretoria - Future Africa, the pan-African collaborative research platform at the University of Pretoria (UP), congratulates Prof Dire Tladi, UP Professor of International Law and Future Africa's Research Chair in Global Equity in Africa, on his appointment as a judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Prof Tladi's election marks a historic moment as he becomes the first South African to serve as a judge of the International Court of Justice, widely known as the World Court. The announcement was made on 9 November 2023 by the Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council after rigorous voting rounds.

Dr Heide Hackmann, Director of Future Africa, welcomed Prof Tladi's appointment as a milestone in the pursuit of global peace and justice. “We are extremely proud of Prof Tladi " she said, "and congratulate him on this remarkable achievement. His appointment as the first South African judge at the ICJ, will undoubtedly raise the important voice of Africa and contribute to shaping a safer and more equitable world for all. We look forward to witnessing the positive influence his expertise will have and commit our support to him in taking on this important international role."

Reflecting on his election, Prof Tladi expressed a mix of emotions, saying, "I am filled with mixed emotions—excitement, elation, and a touch of nervousness. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude because so many people played a role in this journey.  The entire experience has been humbling, especially navigating through the challenges of an intense campaign, and juggling various responsibilities over the past few months. The announcement and the tense process have undoubtedly taken a toll, but I'm absolutely ecstatic and profoundly humbled by the experience."

The ICJ comprises 15 judges elected by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council for a 9-year term. Located at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the Court plays an important role in settling legal disputes between states and offering advisory opinions on international legal matters.

In addition to holding the Future Africa Research Chair, Prof Tladi is also the recipient of the National Research Foundation South African Research Chairs Initiative of International Constitutional Law. He has also held several key positions within the field of international law, including serving as the Chair of the International Law Commission, an organ of the United Nations renowned for its contributions to the International Court of Justice. He has provided his invaluable expertise as the legal adviser of the South African mission in New York and as a Special Adviser to the South African Foreign Minister.