Appointment of New Tribunal Judges

As the terms of three Tribunal judges (i.e., Robert A. Gorman, U.S., Bola A. Ajibola, Nigerian, and Elizabeth Evatt, Australian) expired and none was eligible for reappointment, three new judges needed to be appointed, each for a term of five years.

In accordance with the Tribunal Statute and a June 4, 2001 memorandum from the President of the Bank to the Executive Directors on the topic of “Enhancing the Bank’s Administrative Tribunal,” the President of the Bank in October 2006 appointed an Advisory Committee to recommend to him a list of candidates for nomination. The Committee was composed of:

  • Ms. Ana Palacio, Senior Vice President and World Bank Group General Counsel, as Chair;
  • Ms. Alison Cave, Chair of the World Bank Group Staff Association (WBGSA), as the staff member selected by the WBGSA;
  • Mr. Kenneth G. Lay, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, as the staff member selected by the President of the Bank; and
  • Mr. William Ide, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, as the outside expert selected by the President of the Bank.
  • Mr. Nassib G. Ziadé, Executive Secretary of the Tribunal, served as Secretary to the Committee.

As part of its work, the Committee sought the views of internal stakeholders and external sources, and also solicited from them the names of potential candidates. Having reviewed the curricula vitae of all the candidates whose names it received, the Committee submitted to the President of the Bank a report on its work outlining its findings and recommendations. On the basis of the Committee’s work, the President of the Bank nominated three candidates with different backgrounds for appointment to the Tribunal. His nominations were approved by the Executive Directors on a no-objection basis.

The new judges of the Tribunal are:

Ms. Zia Mody (India): Ms. Mody is a corporate attorney and, according to Business Today, one of India’s 25 most powerful business women. Her expertise includes corporate mergers and acquisitions, securities law, private equity and project finance. After spending four years as a corporate associate at Baker & McKenzie in New York City, she started her own law practice in India in the mid-1980s. Ms. Mody’s law firm is India’s second-largest and an international powerhouse that is at the table for most of the multimillion-dollar deals in India. As an advocate of the Mumbai High Court from 1984 to 2001, she handled commercial litigation in corporate and civil property law and arbitrations. Ms. Mody was recently appointed as a non-executive director of the HSBC global board.

Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (U.S.): Judge Schwebel has been the President of the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal since its inception. He has presided over several important international arbitration tribunals. From 1981 to 2000, Judge Schwebel was a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), serving as its Vice President from 1994 to 1997, and as its President from 1997 to 2000. Prior to his tenure at the ICJ, Judge Schwebel served as Deputy Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, and as Burling Professor of Law at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is a former Executive Vice President and Director of the American Society of International Law, and a former member of the United Nations International Law Commission.

Mr. Francis M. Ssekandi (Uganda): Mr. Ssekandi has over 35 years of legal practice in various areas, including adjudication, arbitration, mediation and civil conflict resolution. He became a Judge of the High Court of Uganda in 1974 and later Justice of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Uganda. In 1981, he joined the United Nations, where he was Deputy Director of the Office of Legal Affairs and then Director of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Liberia. In 1997, Mr. Ssekandi was appointed General Counsel of the African Development Bank, where he played a role in a series of institutional reforms, including the establishment of the African Development Bank Administrative Tribunal. Mr. Ssekandi is currently a Professor of Law at Columbia University.