Today Mr. Tomas Heidar took office as Judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg and made a solemn declaration at a public ceremony. Judge Heidar was elected to serve a term of nine years at the Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on 11 June 2014. He holds one of three seats that belong to the group of Western countries, the two other seats being held by Judges from France and Germany. Judge Heidar was Legal Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland where he served for around 20 years.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Tribunal is composed of a body of 21 independent members, elected from among persons of recognised competence in the field of the law of the sea. The Tribunal started its work in 1996 and has dealt with 22 cases so far.