Dalveer BhandariRe-Elected to World Court ICJ

Highlights:

  • India's Dalveer Bhandari, 70, has been re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), winning the last of five seats for which elections were held, after Britain pulled out its candidate Christopher Greenwood before the 12th round of voting.
  • For 11 rounds, the two were locked in a stalemate with Justice Bhandari getting majority support in the United Nations General Assembly and Justice Greenwood in the UN Security Council, both of which vote in elections to the world court.
  • One-third of the ICJ's 15-member bench, or five judges, 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.
  • To win, a candidate needs to get a majority in both chambers.
  • This is the first time since the ICJ there will be no British judge.
  • ICJ  is based in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • It was established in 1945.
  • Once the British candidate withdrew, both the UNGA and the security council formally voted to elect Justice Dalveer Bhandari, a former Supreme Court judge.
  • He received 183 out of 193 votes in the General Assembly and all the 15 votes in the Security Council.
  • On November 9, the UNGA and Security Council members had elected judges to four of the five seats, with India and Britain competing for the fifth. 
  • Repeatedly over 11 rounds, the UNGA, made up of 193 countries, voted overwhelmingly for  Dalveer Bhandari, while the 15-member Security Council voted 9 to 5 in favour of Britain, which is one of five permanent members of the security council. India is currently not a member.
  • In all previous such contests, the candidate who got a majority in the General Assembly was eventually elected, but Britain was at one point seen to be pushing for a joint conference mechanism, never resorted to since the UN was established and only once before that.
  • A joint conference would've involved picking three countries each from the the UNGA and the UNSC, which would then choose one candidate.