Vasciannie re-elected to UN Law Commission

Monday, November 21, 2011

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Principal of the Norman Manley Law School, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, has been re-elected to the United Nations International Law Commission for a second term.

The elections for membership of the commission were held last Thursday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Vasciannie was returned as one of six commission members from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The International Law Commission is the United Nations body mandated with the task of developing and codifying international law. The 34 members of the commission, drawn from different regions of the world, are each selected for five-year terms, and meet annually at the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to work on the preparation of treaties, reports and other instruments of international law.

In 2010, Vasciannie, a Kingston College past student and current chairman of the school board, served as the rapporteur of the commission.

In responding to news of his re-election, Professor Vasciannie paid tribute to the team at Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Jamaica's Permanent Mission to the United Nations for their work in supporting his candidacy.

"This was a very competitive year because there were new candidates for the Latin American and Caribbean region and the number of seats was reduced from seven to six," he said.

"Thus, the ministry team, led by Ambassador Evadne Coye, and the team in New York, led by Ambassador Raymond Wolfe, did an outstanding job in garnering support for my re-election."

Vasciannie, who is also a professor of international law at the University of the West Indies, added: "I look forward to presenting arguments reflecting the interests and perspectives of developing countries as a whole in the international law work of the United Nations."

The current agenda of the International Law Commission includes work on the international law concerning natural disasters, the obligation of states to extradite or prosecute certain accused persons, the immunity of government officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction, and the question of expulsion of aliens.

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