India’s Dalveer Bhandari In World Court (ICJ) As UK Pulls Out: Read In Points

NEW DELHI:  India's Dalveer Bhandari, 70, made it to the International Court of Justice as Britain pulled out its candidate Christopher Greenwood following a stalemate in the hard-fought race. Voting for the last seat was held earlier tonight. Mr Greenwood had support in the UN Security Council, and Dalveer Bhandari had won the vote in the General Assembly. This will be the first time since the ICJ was established in 1945 that there will be no British judge. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "Vande Matram - India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind. (sic)"

                                   Here is your 10-point-guide to the ICJ elections:
  1. Pulling out its candidate, the British Ambassador said, "It is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of election."

 

 

 

  1. To win an ICJ election, a candidate needs to get a majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, which had not happened in this case in the first 11 rounds of voting necessitating a 12th round.

 

 

  1. One-third of the ICJ's 15-member bench is elected every three years for a nine-year term. Elections are held separately but simultaneously in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Security Council in New York.

 

 

 

  1. On November 9, the UNGA and Security Council members had elected judges to four of the five seats up for re-election this year, with the fate of the candidates from India and Britain hanging in the balance.

 

 

 

  1. In all previous such contests, the candidate who got a majority in the General Assembly was eventually elected. Britain is seen to be aggressively pushing in the 15-member UN Security Council, of which India is currently not a member, for resorting to the joint conference mechanism, against which there exists an unequivocal legal opinion, sources said.

 

 

 

  1. A joint conference involves picking three countries each from the the UNGA and the UNSC, which would choose a candidate on whom UNGA and Security Council vote. It was used only once, in 1921, before the establishment of the UN, when Deputy Judges for the Permanent Court of International Justice were selected.

 

 

  1. Britain has argued that there is a deadlock and has reportedly proposed that voting in the Security Council be stopped, which would mean that the UNGA would also have to stop voting. Britain needs nine votes for voting  to be stopped and hopes that the nine Security Council members supporting its candidate so far, will agree.

 

 

  1. Critics had earlier described Britain's move as "dirty politics" which has sent a sense of "uneasiness" among other members of the powerful UN Security Council, many of who are aware of the long-term implications of a move to ignore the voice of the majority of the United Nations General Assembly.

 

 

  1. "Those who talk of bringing the UN and updating it to the 21st Century world cannot look back to the toolkit of 100 years ago and try to take out a tool which has never been used in the history of the UN and perhaps for valid reasons," Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, told diplomats at the UN headquarters, where more than 160 diplomats attended a reception for Judge Bhandari, reflecting the majority India enjoys in the General Assembly.

 

 

  1. The joint conference mechanism has never been used in the entire history of seven decades of the ICJ, sources said. The only time it was used was before the establishment of the UN in 1921, when Deputy Judges for the Permanent Court of International Justice were selected.

 

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