India re-nominates Dalveer Bhandari for another term as International Court of Justice judge

The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years.

Published: 20th June 2017 11:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2017 02:20 PM   |  A+A-

Justice Dalveer Bhandari. (File photo)

By PTI

UNITED NATIONS: Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been nominated by India as its candidate for another nine year term as judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN.

Bhandari, 69, was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court and is based in The Hague in the Netherlands. His current term runs through February 2018.

India filed Bhandari's re-nomination yesterday with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres here, well ahead of the July 3 deadline. The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years.

During his term at the ICJ, Bhandari has been engaged actively in the work of the Court and has delivered individual opinions in eleven cases covering a broad spectrum of subjects such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, crime of genocide, delimitation of continental shelf, nuclear disarmament, financing of terrorism and violation of sovereign rights.

Before joining the ICJ, Bhandari was a judge in the higher judiciary in India for more than 20 years. He had served as a senior judge in the Supreme Court of India.

The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council that vote simultaneously but separately. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.

According to ICJ’s website, judges must be elected from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or are jurisconsults of recognised competence in international law.

Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same nationality. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court.

Established in 1945, the ICJ settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorized UN organs.

The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all UN Member States.

According to his profile on the ICJ website, Bhandari has been an Executive Member of the International Law Association, India Chapter, since 1994.

He was unanimously elected as President of the India International Law Foundation in 2007 and continues in that position. He served as a judge in the High Court of Delhi (a premier High Court in India) and then was the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.

Last month, India had moved the ICJ against the death penalty awarded by a Pakistan military court to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav on charges of espionage and subversive activities. In a unanimous decision, the ICJ stayed the Jadhav’s execution and instructed Pakistan to take all "necessary measures at its disposal" to ensure that he was not executed pending a final decision by it.

The ICJ said that India should have been granted consular access to its national as per the Vienna Convention to which both countries have been signatories since 1977.

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