International Court of Justice

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Current Members


Mr. Philippe Couvreur

(Registrar since 10 February 2000, re-elected on 8 February 2007 and again on 3 February 2014)

Born in Schaerbeek, Belgium.

Secondary studies at the Collège Jean XXIII (Brussels): specialized in humanities (classics) (gold medallist, secondary education, 1969). University entrance examination in Dutch language and culture (Netherlands Embassy prize, 1969).

Higher education at the Facultés Notre Dame de la Paix (s. j.) in Namur (candidatures in law (1969-1971): first-class honours) and at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Licence in law (1971 1974), with honours (with dissertation on “Indication de mesures conservatoires par la Cour internationale de Justice” [“Indication of provisional measures by the International Court of Justice”]; Bachelor's degree in Thomist philosophy (1972 1974), first-class honours).

Postgraduate studies in international and European law at the Universities of London (King's College: 1974-1975) and Madrid (Universidad complutense: 1975-1976 (scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs)). Course in European law at the Université catholique de Louvain (1978).

Various further training in international and European law.

Commission of the European Communities: Intern, Legal Service (1978-1979) (worked on the accessions of Spain and Portugal to join the European Communities).

International Court of Justice: Special assistant in the offices of the Registrar and Deputy Registrar (1982-1986), Secretary (1986-1994), First Secretary (1994-1995), Principal Legal Secretary (1995-2000).

Elected Registrar of the International Court of Justice for a first term of seven years with effect from 10 February 2000, re-elected for a second term of seven years as from 10 February 2007, and re-elected again on 3 February 2014 for a third term of seven years starting on 10 February 2014.

Assistant Professor at the Centre d'études européennes [European Studies Centre] and in the Law Faculty of the Université Catholique de Louvain (1976-1982).

Visiting Professor in the law of international organizations at the Law Faculty of the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) (1980-1982).

Professeur extraordinaire in the law of nations and comparative constitutional law at the Ecole des Hautes études commerciales Saint Louis (Brussels) (1986-1996).

Guest lecturer in public international law at the Law Faculty of the Université Catholique de Louvain (since 1997).

Corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and member of various other learned societies.

Author of numerous publications and speaker at various symposia and conferences.

Principal languages: Dutch, English, French, Italian and Spanish.