India's Dalveer Bhandari secures final spot as a judge of the ICJ

Henrietta Brewer
November 22, 2017

Jai Hind". In another missive in the micro blogging site, Ms Swaraj wrote: "Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari on his re-election as a Judge of the ICJ.

"The extraordinary support from the United Nations membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and the independence of the judiciary in India", said a senior government functionary.

70-year-old Bhandari's two-thirds backing of the United Nations members forced Britain to withdraw its candidate Christopher Greenwood in the hard-fought race to the world court.

After the previous 11 rounds of voting produced a stalemate, with the 193-member General Assembly solidly rallying behind Bhandari and the 15-member Security Council backing Greenwood, all eyes were on Monday's voting to see if the pattern would be broken and a clear outcome thrown up.

The former Supreme Court judge was talking about 11 rounds of voting spread over several days, as the United Kingdom did everything possible to push Greenwood's candidature.

For a victory, it was necessary to get majority support both at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as well as at the UNSC.

Earlier, Britain's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it chose to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.

The US congratulated India as well.

"We congratulate Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India for his re-election to the International Court of Justice, as well as the other candidates who were elected or re-elected...", a State Department spokesperson told PTI. She added: "Huge efforts by Team MEA". PM Narendra Modi credited the efforts of Swaraj and MEA officials for the re-election.

Ministry of External Affairs said the extraordinary support it got from the United Nations members is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and the independence of the judiciary in India.

His victory had left Bhandari fighting for a spot normally reserved for Europeans, and in this case the UK.

An official also pointed out that Judge Bhandari's tenure in the ICJ is significant as it coincided with the changing nature of the court itself as it reaffirmed arrival of the new global players like India. In the past, especially when it comes to boundary disputes, sanctions or active intervention in global conflict theatres, and/or human rights issues either at the General Assembly, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, and at individual agency meetings, India has naturally erred on the side of national interest.

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