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Britain congratulates India as Dalveer Bhandari gets re-elected as ICJ judge

Dalveer Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections Photograph: (DNA)

WION Web Team United Nations, New York, NY, United States Nov 21, 2017, 01.24 AM (IST)

Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after Britain withdrew its candidate for election to the world court as the battle for the last seat concluded peacefully on Monday.

Earlier, Britain as a permanent member of  UN Security Council(UNSC) had threatened to use a mechanism of Joint Conference to thwart Dalveer Bhandari's re-election chances even though nearly two-thirds of members of the UN General Assembly supported the Indian candidate.

Soon after the election results were announced, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.

India's external affairs minister tweeted on India's victory, saying: "Vande Matram - India wins election to the International Court of Justice. Hai Hind."


"We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates," Britain's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said.

"If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead," he added.

Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

Rycroft, in a statement, said the UK had decided to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.

"The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections," he said.

Rycroft said that the UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, "in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally".

The appointment to the highest court of justice became a bitter battle after the UK government sought to trigger the the Joint Conference mechanism comprising of three members each from the United Nations General Assembly(GA) and Security Council(SC) who would have used their powers to put Christopher Greenwood - the UK candidate on the hot seat instead of open voting to elect a judge to the ICJ.

However, in the end, Britain decided against using Joint Conference mechanism and pulled out of the race ensuring India's Dalveer Bhandari's candidature going through by a majority vote in the ICJ. 

Britain's withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there won't a British judge on the UN's most powerful court for the first time in its history.

Based in The Hague, the ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term.

Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.

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