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British jurist becomes first woman to head International Court of Justice

[JURIST] British judge Rosalyn Higgins [official profile], a highly-respected legal scholar and international lawyer, was elected president of International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website; press release] Monday, becoming the first woman to serve in that role. Higgins, the only woman ever to sit on the ICJ, was elected by her 15 fellow judges to serve a three-year term as president.

First appointed to the high court in 1995, Higgins takes over from Chinese judge and current president Shi Jiuyong [official profile], who is stepping down to rejoin the panel. The ICJ is the highest court in the United Nations system and is authorized by international statute [text] to resolve disputes between nations by agreement. AP has more.

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