Devex Board Member to Head International Law of the Sea Tribunal

    Shunji Yanai, a member of the Devex Board of Advisers and a veteran jurist and diplomat was elected president of a U.N.-backed international tribunal that adjudicates issues related to the use of ocean resources.

    Yanai was elected by the 21-member International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to serve a three-year term. He remains eligible to be re-elected for another term. He succeeds José Luis Jesus from Cape Verde.

    The tribunal is an independent judicial body established by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the treaty. The treaty establishes a comprehensive legal framework to regulate all ocean space, its uses and resources.

    Yanai is not new to ITLOS though, having been a member since 2005.

    Prior to being a judge of the sea court, Yanai served in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 40 years. He also served as director of the Mitsubishi Electric Corp., senior adviser to the rector of the U.N. University, and adviser to the minister for foreign affairs in Japan.

    The tribunal also elected Albert J. Hoffmann of South Africa as vice president, as well as three new judges: David Joseph Attard from Malta, Elsa Kelly from Argentina and Markiyan Z. Kulyk from Ukraine. The new judges will each be serving a nine-year term on the tribunal. 

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    About the author

    • Che de los Reyes

      As a senior staff writer, Che focuses on international development breaking news coverage as well as interviews and features. Prior to joining Devex, Che handled communications for local and international development NGOs and government institutions in the Philippines.