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Kiwi Elected To UN International Law Commission

12 November 2001

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the election of New Zealander Bill Mansfield to the United Nations International Law Commission.

“New Zealand campaigned for Mr Mansfield’s election on the basis of his extensive experience in international law-making processes and the practical implementation of international law at both the international and domestic level.

“Mr Mansfield’s election is a matter of considerable pride to New Zealand. It demonstrates both the high regard in which New Zealand is held at the United Nations and the calibre of those in our legal profession who have specialised in international law,” Mr Goff said.

The Commission is an expert body established in 1947 by the United Nations General Assembly. It has a membership of thirty-four persons of recognised competence in international law. Its function is to encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification.

Mr Mansfield is currently President of the New Zealand Branch of the International Law Association and is an acknowledged expert in oceans issues in both the environmental and fisheries contexts, having appeared as Counsel for New Zealand before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

He replaces the Australian member of the Commission, Professor James Crawford, who is retiring, and will serve for five years from the beginning of 2002.

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