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Monday Nov 13 2017

India, UK face-off at UN today over ICJ appointment

A view of the ICJ hearing on Jadhav earlier this year. Photo: File 

THE HAGUE: India and the UK are competing today to get their judge appointed to the world's top court in a run-off vote at the United Nations.

Current ICJ President Ronny Abraham (France), Nawaf Salam (Lebanon), Abdulqawi Ahmed Yousaf (Somalia) and Antonio Augusto (Brazil) have been elected to the ICJ after obtaining the required majority in the UN General Assembly and Security Council, respectively. 

However, India's Dalveer Bhandari and UK's Sir Christopher Greenwood could not get the majority and are thus going into another round of voting today. 

The total number of judges at the international court is 15, and a third is up for re-election after every three years.

The election of the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is significant for Pakistan in light of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's case.

The spy's execution by Pakistan was stayed by the court in May this year. 

Later, in September, India submitted its pleadings in the ICJ and Pakistan will submit its response next month. 

The next hearing of the Jadhav case is expected after February 8 next year when the newly-elected judges are sworn-in.


Judge Bhandari's remarks after the ICJ stayed Jadhav's execution in Mya this year were seen as impartial by some observers. 

He reportedly said after the order that the “stay in Jadhav case is a mega-victory for Indian diplomacy”. 

Sir Greenwood, though a great scholar and an academic expert on international law, advocated UK’s participation in the Iraq War which is not seen favourably by many analysts.