U.S. judge Stephen Schwebel was elected Thursday as president of the World Court, the principal judicial arm of the United Nations.
Schwebel, who has served on the 15-judge court since 1981, was promoted by his colleagues to a three-year term as top judge. He has been vice president since 1994.
The New York city-born judge is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School. He was a professor of international law at Johns Hopkins University and advised the U.S. State Department on international law during the 1960s and 1970s.
The court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, adjudicates disputes between states and gives advisory rulings to the United Nations.
Recent cases include a protest against French atomic testing and a dispute between the U.S. and Iran over the American Navy’s destruction of Iranian Persian Gulf oil platforms during the Iran-Iraq war.