New Delhi: India’s Dalveer Bhandari, 70 won the last seat in the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood in a down-to-the-wire race between the two nations. After the two designated days and multiple rounds of voting that ended up in a deadlock, choice of the majority prevailed.
It will be the first time since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was established in 1945 that there will be no British judge. UK earlier had sent a proposal to invoke the ‘joint conference’ mechanism and avoid further voting because while Britain had managed to be ahead in the 15-member UNSC, India had near two-thirds majority at the 193-member UNGA.
India had firmly rejected the offer of a “procedure” that had never been used before and wanted to stay the course on voting. India’s envoy to the UN tweeted saying, “A vote that brings cheer to a billion. India’s nominee Judge Bhandari re-elected to ICJ. General Assembly=183, Security Council=15”
UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak also expressed relief and satisfaction when he tweeted, “Happy that ICJ elections successfully wrapped up today. A constructive spirit prevailed. Congrats to the 5 new judges.”
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj expressed her happiness over Twitter saying, “Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind. #ICJ”
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.