November 21, 2017

India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to ICJ after UK withdraws candidate

by Neha Monga

India’s nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was on Monday re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the Hague based world court after United Kingdom withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the election.

Bhandari and Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election as the UN could not decide between them after electing four out of five judges to the ICJ.

Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the United Nations General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The elections were held after UK, in a dramatic turn of events, withdrew its candidate, Greenwood, out of the race for ICJ, thus paving the way for Mr. Bhandari’s re-election to the prestigious world court.

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It is understood that the permanent members of the Security Council — USA, Russia, France and China — had been throwing their weight behind Greenwood. The UK is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council.

Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, earlier in a statement, had informed that Britain would withdraw Greenwood as a candidate for re-election. “The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.

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Britain congratulated Justice Bhandari on his re-election as well, and said it will continue to cooperate closely with India at the United Nations and globally.

“We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates,” Rycroft said, reported PTI. “If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally.”

Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, also took to Twitter to congratulate Justice Bhandari. “Vande Matram — India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind. #ICJ,” she tweeted.

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