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The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.  In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.  In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years.  Judges are eligible for re-election.  Elections are held in New York on the annual autumn session of the General Assembly.  The judges elected at a triennial election enter upon their term of office on 6 February of the following year.  After electing the judges, the Court proceeds to elect by secret ballot a President and a Vice-President to hold office for three years.

The Members of the Court elect the President and the Vice-President every three years by secret ballot.  The election is held on the date on which Members of the Court elected at a triennial election are to begin their terms of office or shortly thereafter.  An absolute majority is required and there are no conditions with regard to nationality.  The President and the Vice-President may be re-elected.

The President presides at all meetings of the Court.  S/He directs its work and supervises its administration, with the assistance of a Budgetary and Administrative Committee and of various other committees, all composed of Members of the Court.  During judicial deliberations, the President has a casting vote in the event of votes being equally divided.  The Vice-President replaces the President in his/her absence.


Inside Presidency