21 December 2017
Nicolas Michel will officially join the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal (IUSCT) in The Hague on 1 January 2018. His appointment was made by the Appointing Authority of the IUSCT, former President of the Netherlands Supreme Court, Geert Corstens. On 12 December 2017, the party-appointed Members of the Tribunal unanimously appointed Nicolas Michel as the President of the Tribunal.
Nicolas Michel is Professor Emeritus at the University of Geneva (Law Faculty) and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He is also the President of the Geneva Academy’s Board.
As an internationally recognized expert in international law, he has worked as the UN Legal Counsel and UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs – the institution’s highest-ranking legal officer. He filled that role for four years, during which time he was closely involved in setting up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Nicolas Michel also worked for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as Director of the International Law Directorate and Legal Adviser.
Since September 2015 he is the UN Secretary-General’s political and legal facilitator for the Syria Talks.
Nicolas Michel was also Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Law Faculty, University of Geneva, and has taught at the Universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Paris II, Beijing (Renmin) and Xiamen.
The IUSCT came into existence as one of the measures taken to resolve the crisis in relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America arising out of the November 1979 hostage crisis at the United States Embassy in Tehran, and the subsequent freezing of Iranian assets by the United States of America.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction to decide claims of United States nationals against Iran and of Iranian nationals against the United States, which arise out of debts, contracts, expropriations or other measures affecting property rights; certain "official claims" between the two Governments relating to the purchase and sale of goods and services; disputes between the two Governments concerning the interpretation or performance of the Algiers Declarations; and certain claims between United States and Iranian banking institutions.
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