Professor Chaloka Beyani: Zambia's candidate for ICJ role
MEET Professor Chaloka Beyani, Zambia’s candidate for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) elections scheduled for November this year. Professor Beyani’s candidacy was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by Her Honour, the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, W.K. Mutale Nalumango last month. This was on the sidelines of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Professor will contest the elections for the position of Judge in a tenure that runs from 2024 to 2033. And if elected, Prof Beyani will be the first Zambian judge at the ICJ since its establishment in June 1954. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN established by the Charter and began its work in April 1946.
The court was created to bring about by peaceful means adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might cause a breach of the peace. The seat of the ICJ is at the Hague, Netherlands. The court’s jurisdiction to try contentious cases depends upon the consent of States, since international justice, in contrast to national justice, is still optional. The laws applied by the court are international conventions and treaties, international custom, the general principles of law recognized by civilised nations, and judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists as subsidiary means of the determination of rules of law.
At the request of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other bodies authorised, the ICJ has power to give advisory opinions. The decisions of the ICJ carry significant weight and influence and contribute to the development and interpretation of international law.
Professor Beyani was born on 13th April, 1959. He is a distinguished and experienced international lawyer with over 36 years standing in the standard account of Public International Law. The Professor has multilateral and diplomatic experience in international law as well as legal practice of Public International Law, directly engaging states and international orgnisations.
He is among six candidates that have filed their nominations for the position. The others are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Australia, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. Only five candidates from the six countries will be elected.
Professor Beyani’s expertise resides in standard Public International Law; International Humanitarian Law; International Human Rights; Actual Comparative Constitution making and the Reconfiguration of states, International Criminal Justice, refugees, self-determination; democracy among others.
Currently, he is a professor (Associate) of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Beyani holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford, a Master of Laws and Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Zambia. He also holds a Master of Arts Status from Wolfson College and Faulty of Law.
He is a strong candidate for the position of Judge given his vast expertise, leadership, qualities and commitment to the advancement of international law.
‘An exceptional candidate’
Launching Professor Beyani’s election campaign in New York on May 17, 2023, Vice-President Nalumango passionately appealed to Member States who attended a cocktail held at the UN Headquarters to support his nomination. She described the Professor as an exceptional candidate who has tirelessly devoted his personal and professional life to the pursuit of peace.
With several decades of experience in international law, multilateralism, and mediating peace, among others, Professor Beyani emerged as a prominent figure in the field of international jurisprudence. His extensive expertise spans various geographic and thematic boundaries, making him a highly qualified candidate for the prestigious position. Professor Beyani will undergo rigorous evaluation by Member States, who will assess his qualifications, experience, and track record in the field of international law.
If elected, Professor Beyani will bring his wealth of knowledge and experience to the ICJ, further strengthening the court’s ability to uphold justice and resolve international conflicts. His appointment would not only be a testament to his remarkable achievements but also a reflection of Zambia’s commitment to promoting peace and advocating for the rule of law on the global stage.
Zambia will continue to solicit support for Professor Beyani’s candidacy on different international platforms, including the forthcoming 78th UN General Assembly.