Peter Tomka

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Charles University in Prague Banská Bystrica

Peter Tomka
President of the International Court of Justice
In office
6 February 2012 – 6 February 2015
Vice PresidentBernardo Sepúlveda-Amor
Preceded byHisashi Owada
Succeeded byRonny Abraham
Vice President of the International Court of Justice
In office
6 February 2009 – 5 February 2012
PresidentHisashi Owada
Preceded byAwn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh
Succeeded byBernardo Sepúlveda-Amor
Judge of the International Court of Justice
Assumed office
6 February 2003
Preceded byGéza Herczegh
Personal details
Born (1956-06-01) 1 June 1956 (age 64)
Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia
Alma materCharles University in Prague (LLM, PhD)

Peter Tomka (born 1 June 1956)[1] is a Slovak judge of the International Court of Justice. Prior to his election to the ICJ in 2003, Tomka was a Slovak diplomat.

Early life and education

He was born in Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia.[1] He earned LLM and PhD degrees from Charles University in Prague in 1979 and 1985 respectively. In addition, he has also undertaken studies at the Faculty of International Law and International Relations in Kiev, Ukraine, at the Institut du droit de la paix et du développement in Nice, France, at the Institute of International Public Law and International Relations in Thessaloniki, Greece, and The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands.[1]


In 1986, he joined Czechoslovakia's Foreign Ministry as an Assistant Legal Adviser, and in 1990 was promoted to Head of the Ministry's Public International Law Division. The following year, he was transferred to the country's United Nations Mission, where he served as Legal Adviser. Following the division of Czechoslovakia, he served as Slovakia's Deputy Permanent Representative from 1993 to 1994. From 1994 to 1997, he served as Slovakia's Ambassador to the United Nations. Returning to the Foreign Ministry, he served as Director of the International Law Department from 1997 to 1998, when he transferred to the post of Director-General for International Legal and Consular Affairs. After a year in that post, he was reappointed as Slovakia's UN Ambassador, serving until his appointment to the Court. He also held a seat on the International Law Commission between 1999 and 2002. He is member of the Slovak Society of International Law and has served as the organization's Honorary President since 2003. He is also a member of the American Society of International Law and the European Society of International Law.[1]

Tomka was elected to the ICJ by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council; his first term began on February 6, 2003.

In parallel to his ICJ Membership, Tomka served in 2005 as an Arbitrator of the Belgium/Netherlands Iron Rhine Tribunal,[2] which was presided over by ICJ Rosalyn Higgins and in 2007 Tomka has been Member of the ICSID ad hoc Committee in the case of Malaysian Historical Salvors v. Government of Malaysia,[3] which also comprises ICJ s Stephen M. Schwebel (President) and Mohamed Shahabuddeen. In 2009, Tomka was also on the ad hoc Committee in the MCI Power Group v. Republic of Ecuador Annulment Decision.[4]

The judges of the ICJ elected Tomka as their vice-president on 6 February 2009.[5]

In 2011 Tomka was re-elected to a second nine-year term on the ICJ by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council;[6] his term now expires on 5 February 2021.[7]

In February 2012 Tomka was elected President of the Court for a three-year term from 6 February 2012.[8]

ICJ Decisions


  1. ^ a b c d "International Court of Justice Biography". International Court of Justice. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  2. ^ "Belgium/Netherlands Iron Rhine Award". Permanent Court of Arbritration. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  3. ^ Vis-Dunbar, Damon (2009-04-23). "Malaysian Historical Salvors (Jurisdiction) Award Annulled". Investment Treaty News. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  4. ^ "The MCI Power Group v. Republic of Ecuador Decision on Annulment Decision" (PDF). International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  5. ^ "H.E. Judge Peter Tomka (Slovakia) Elected Vice-President" (PDF). International Court of Justice. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  6. ^ "GA/11171: General Assembly, Concurrently with Security Council, Elects Four Judges to International Court of Justice" (Press release). United Nations Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York. 2011-11-10.
  7. ^ "UN Member States elect judges to serve on International Court of Justice". UN News Centre. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  8. ^ "International Court of Justice press release 2012/8". International Court of Justice. Retrieved 2012-02-06.