Published: 29 June 2019 Author: Stefan Talmon DOI: 10.17176/20220113-145237-0
In the second half of June 2019, several candidates nominated by Germany were elected to serve on various international human rights bodies.
United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
On 21 June 2019, the twenty-eighth meeting of the States Parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination elected Professor Mehrdad Payandeh, together with eight other candidates to serve on the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Sixteen candidates had initially been nominated, and 14 finally stood for election for nine vacant positions. The Committee is a body of 18 “experts of high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality” that monitors implementation of the Convention. Germany has been a party to the Convention since 15 June 1969. There are currently 181 parties to the Convention. CERD members are elected for four-year terms, with half the members elected every two years. The new members will begin their terms of office on 19 January 2020.
United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances
On 25 June 2019, the fifth meeting of the States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance elected Ms. Barbara Lochbihler, a former member of the European Parliament and Vice President of its Sub-Committee on Human Rights, together with four other candidates to serve on the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED). There had been only five candidates nominated for the five vacant positions. The Committee is composed of 10 independent “experts of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights” that monitors implementation of the Convention. Germany has been a party to the Convention since 23 December 2010. There are currently 60 parties to the Convention. CED members are elected for a term of four years and are eligible for re-election once. Ms. Lochbihler follows on another member nominated by German, Dr. Rainer Huhle, who had been a member since 2011. The new members will begin their term of office on 1 July 2019.
European Court of Human Rights
On 27 June 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) elected Professor Anja Seibert-Fohr as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Germany. Each High Contracting Party of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has the right to nominate one judge on the Court. Germany has been a party to the ECHR since 3 September 1953. PACE brings together 324 parliamentarians of the Council of Europe’s 47 member States. Judges are elected by PACE from a list of three candidates nominated by the High Contracting Party. For the election of judges an absolute majority of the votes cast at the first ballot and a relative majority at the second ballot is required. Germany had nominated Professor Thilo Marauhn, Judge Dr. Christiane Schmaltz and Professor Seibert-Fohr. During the first round of voting on 26 June 2019 none of the candidates obtained the required absolute majority. Of the 240 votes cast, Professor Marauhn obtained 23, Dr. Schmaltz 111, and Professor Seibert-Fohr 106. During the second round of voting the following day only 128 votes were cast. In that round Professor Marauhn obtained 0, Dr. Schmaltz 46 and Professor Seibert-Fohr 82 votes. Having obtained a relative majority of the votes cast, Professor Seibert-Fohr was elected judge of the European Court of Human Rights for a term of office of nine years commencing from 1 January 2020. She will succeed Professor Angelika Nußberger on the Court.
GPIL wishes the newly elected all the best for their important work!