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Stephen M. Schwebel

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Stephen M. Schwebel
Stephen Myron Schwebel.jpg
President of the International Court of Justice
In office
Preceded by Mohammed Bedjaoui
Succeeded by Gilbert Guillaume
Vice President of the International Court of Justice
In office
Preceded by Shigeru Oda
Succeeded by Christopher Weeramantry
Judge of the International Court of Justice
In office
Preceded by Richard R. Baxter
Succeeded by Thomas Buergenthal
Personal details
Born (1929-03-10) March 10, 1929 (age 86)
New York, New York; U.S.
Alma mater

Harvard University, BA

  • magna cum laude
  • highest honors in govt.
Yale School of Law , LLB

Stephen Myron Schwebel is an American jurist and expert on international law. He is well known for his separate and dissenting opinions as a Judge of the International Court of Justice 1981-2000[1] and for his involvement in many cases of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID and other arbitral fora.

Early life, education and academic career

Schwebel as the keynote speaker at the 2014 final of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Schwebel had written the first compromis for the competition in 1959–60.

Schwebel was born on March 10, 1929 in New York City. He received his B.A. magna cum laude in government from Harvard University in 1950. He then studied at Cambridge University (1951) and the Yale Law School, receiving his LL. B. in 1954. He was admitted to the New York bar the next year; to that of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1965; and of the District of Columbia in 1976. In the years 1967–1981 he was Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Organization at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Judicial career

He served at various positions in the U.S. Department of State, Legal Adviser Office in 1961–1981, including Deputy Legal Adviser, and he was a member of the United Nations International Law Commission from 1977 to 1980. Schwebel was first elected to the International Court of Justice in January 1981. He was subsequently re-elected twice, and served as the President of the Court in the triennium 1997–2000, which marked one of the busiest dockets (of 22 new cases) in the history of the Court.[2]

Judge Schwebel is currently an independent arbitrator and counsel in Washington, DC, and a door tenant of Essex Court Chambers in London. He has been appointed in 63 arbitral proceedings, 6 between States and 57 international commercial arbitrations (including investment disputes between States and foreign investors). On 12 October 2010, Schwebel was appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as the Chairman of Pakistan v. India Kishanganga/Neelum River Hydro-Electric Project (Kashmir) Arbitration. He served as President of the inaugural UNCLOS Annex VII Southern Bluefin Tuna (Australia and NZ v Japan) and Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago Maritime Delimitation Arbitrations. He also specialises in disputes between states and foreign investors, and has acted as arbitrator in some of the largest of such disputes. He has been a member of ICSID’s panel of arbitrators since 2000. In 2007 Schwebel was President of the ICSID ad hoc Committee in the case of Malaysian Historical Salvors v. Government of Malaysia and, in 2008-2009, a member of the Abyei Boundary Tribunal between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People's Revolutionary Movement, as well as the President of three other ICSID ad hoc Committees, including in the cases of Turkish Telecoms v. Government of Kazachstan and Helnan International Hotels v. Egypt. The seven-member Kishenganga Arbitral Tribunal was established under the India/Pakistan Indus Waters Treaty and it also includes: ICJ Judge Bruno Simma and Jan Paulsson (both appointed on 17 May 2010 by Pakistan), ICJ Judge Peter Tomka and Lucius Caflisch (both appointed on 16 June 2010 by India), and two neutral Arbitrators appointed on 12 and 17 December 2010 - Prof Howard S Wheater and Franklin Berman, who was appointed as the Legal Member by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Schwebel has been chairman or party-appointed arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), ICSID, AAA, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), LCIA, Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (CAA), and UNCITRAL ad hoc proceedings. Schwebel has also acted as counsel and advocate for Colombia in its territorial and maritime delimitation dispute with Nicaragua, for Belize in its territorial, insular and maritime boundary dispute with Guatemala, and for a number of other governments, corporations, and law firms in international proceedings. President of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund in the years 1994-2010, he is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and since 2007 - Schwebel has served as a member and since 2010 as President of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. He was designated by The American Lawyer in 2005 as one of the 'Top 10 Arbitrators' in the world, ranked number 2.

Schwebel is the author of six books including International Arbitration: Three Salient Problems (Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures 1987), Justice in International Law - Selected Writings of Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (1994), republished by Cambridge University Press in 2008, and Justice in International Law - Further Selected Writings of Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (Cambridge 2011), and he also authored some 200 articles on questions of international law and arbitration. He was awarded Yale Law School Medal of Merit (1997), Manley O. Hudson Medal of the American Society of International Law (2000) and doctor honoris causa of Miami University Law School (2002). He is a member of the Institute of International Law, the Council on Foreign Relations, AAA, LCIA, International Bar Association, Japan CAA, and a former Honorary President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).


The Merits (and Demerits) of International Adjudication and Arbitration in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law


External links