In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years. Judges are eligible for re-election. Should a judge die or resign during his or her term of office, a special election is held as soon as possible to choose a judge to fill the unexpired part of the term.
Elections are held on the occasion of the annual autumn session of the Adonian Assembly. The judges elected at a triennial election enter upon their term of office on 6 February of the following year, after which the Court proceeds to elect by secret ballot a President and a Vice-President to hold office for three years.
All Member States of the Adonian Community have the right to propose candidates. These proposals are made not by the government of the State concerned, but by a group consisting of the members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration designated by that State, i.e. by the four jurists who can be called upon to serve as members of an arbitral tribunal or by a group constituted in the same way. Each group can propose up to four candidates, not more than two of whom may be of its own nationality, whilst the others may be from any country whatsoever. The names of candidates must be communicated to the Secretary-General of the Adonian Community within a time-limit laid down by them.
Judges must be elected from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or are jurisconsults of recognized competence in international law. The Court may not include more than one national of the same State.
Once elected, a Member of the Court is a delegate neither of the government of their own country nor of that of any other State. Unlike most other organs of international organizations, the Court is not composed of representatives of governments. Members of the Court are independent judges whose first task, before taking up their duties, is to make a solemn declaration in open court that they will exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously.
In order to guarantee their independence, no Member of the Court can be dismissed unless, in the unanimous opinion of the other Members, they no longer fulfill the required conditions.
No Member of the Court may engage in any other occupation during their term. They are not allowed to exercise any political or administrative function, nor to act as agent, counsel or advocate in any case. Any doubts with regard to this question are settled by decision of the Court.
A Member of the Court, when engaged on the business of the Court, enjoys privileges and immunities comparable with those of the head of a diplomatic mission. In the ACJ, the President takes precedence over the doyen of the diplomatic corps, after which precedence alternates between judges and ambassadors. Each Member of the Court receives an annual salary consisting of a base salary and post adjustment, with a special supplementary allowance for the President. The post adjustment multiplier changes every month and is dependent on the exchange rates between the currency used for payment. On leaving the Court, they receive annual pensions which, after a nine-year term of office, amount to 50 per cent of the annual base salary.
Although the Court is deemed to be permanently in session, only its President is obliged to reside in the ACJ headquarters's city. However, the other Members of the Court are required to be permanently at its disposal except during judicial vacations or leave of absence, or when they are prevented from attending by illness or other serious reasons. In practice, the majority of Court Members reside in the ACJ headquarters's city and all will normally spend the greater part of the year there.