• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

India's Dalveer Bhandari wins ICJ election

Not open for further replies.


Active member
[FONT=&quot]"An acrimonious competition", said British paper The Guardian while describing the race between India and the United Kingdom (UK) for the 15th and final place on the Bench of the International Court of justice (ICJ), which was won by former's candidate, Dalveer Bhandari, after the UK withdrew its candidate from the election.

As reported earlier, Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the United Nations 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. India's victory came after Britain's Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said that the UK had decided to withdraw Sir Christopher Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the ICJ

Here's what Bhandari's re-election means and what happened in the run-up to India's victory:

1) Permanent UNSCmembers unnerved: Ahead of India's victory, agency reports citing observers said that the permenant members of the UNSecurity Council were 'unnerved' by the prospect of India's nominee winning against Britain's candidate in the election to the last seat of the World Court as it would set a precedent that might challenge their power in the future.

Before the UK withdrew from the race, the permanent members of the Security Council -- the US, Russia, France, and China -- appeared to have rallied behind Greenwood. Britain is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council.

2) A worrisome precedent for P5 countries: The prospect of India winning against a P5 member through democratic means was something that this elite club of veto-wielding countries – Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States – was unnerved with, because this would set a precedent that they did not want to see repeated.

"Today it is Britain, tomorrow it could be any one of us" is the argument which had brought all these five countries together, sources told PTI, adding, "If the one (of the P5) is going to be knocked off today, the others fear that they might be knocked off tomorrow."

3) UNGA's vote in India's favour reflects new global order: In the 11 rounds of the election as of Sunday, Bhandari had been receiving the support of nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly but was trailing by three votes against Greenwood in the Security Council. According to reports, the voting in the General Assembly, which overwhelmingly favoured India, is reflective of the new global order, which is not pleasant to the world powers.

Further, according to reports, it was understood that both New Delhi and the Permanent Mission of India to the UNhad been working overtime to convince the members of the Security Council on the need to go by the voice of the majority of the General Assembly.

4) UK might have tried to misuse its UNSC membership: According to reports citing diplomatic sources from over the weekend, the UK tried to "misuse" its UN Security Council membership by pushing for a joint conference mechanism, which was last used 96 years ago, in the ICJ election.

Reportedly, Britain was aggressively pushing in the unSecurity Council for resorting to the joint conference mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago and against which there exists an unequivocal legal opinion, the diplomatic sources said. The "dirty politics" being played by India's former colonial ruler, as one UNinsider put it, had sent a sense of "uneasiness" among other members of the powerful UN Security Council, many of whom were aware of the long-term implications of a move to ignore the voice of the majority of the United Nations General Assembly. In all previous incidents, the candidate getting a majority in the General Assembly had eventually been elected as a judge of The Hague-based ICJ

5) Other UNSCmembers might have faced a tricky situation: By Sunday evening, it appeared that Britain was ready to execute its plan, as per which after the first round of voting they would call for a meeting of the Security Council and would seek a mandate to stop any further round of voting, and would call for the adoption of a joint conference mechanism.

However, this would have put other UNSC members in a tricky position. This is because the Security Council vote to stop further rounds of the ICJ election would be open and not through a secret ballot.

As a result, countries, many of whom have been pledging friendship with India but secretly voting against its candidate, would be exposed in the open. This was something that members of the Security Council would have wished to avoid.

6) UK pulled out of race at last moment: Despite the above reports, in a dramatic turn of events, the UK withdrew from the race, thus paving the way for Bhandari's re-election to the prestigious world court.

In a statement, Rycroft said the UK decided to withdraw Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a judge of the ICJ "The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the General Assembly with further rounds of elections," he said.

7) UK says happy 'close friend' India won: After pulling out of the race, Britain congratulated Justice Dalveer Bhandharion being re-elected to the ICJand said it would continue to cooperate closely with India at the UNand globally.

"We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates," Rycroft said, adding, "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. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally." Rycroft also said that the UK would continue to support the work of the ICJ in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UNsystem and in the international community more generally".

8) 'Blow to British prestige': The Guardian described the UK's decision to withdraw as "a humiliating blow to British international prestige", adding that the move reflected the country's acceptance of a "diminished status" in global affairs.

According to a BBC diplomatic correspondent, the UK's withdrawal would be seen in certain quarters "as a shift in the balance of power at the UNaway from the Security Council". Further, the correspondent said that the move would be seen as "a humiliating defeat for the UK".

9) Trade with India could have played a role: According to The Guardian, the fact that India could emerge as a "more significant trading partner" after the UK's exit from the European Union, or Brexit, could have contributed to the decision to withdraw.

10) No British judge for the first time in ICJ's history: Last but not the least, one of the consequences of India's victory, as The Guardian's headline put it, is: "No British judge on world court for first time in its 71-year history".


Last edited:
Read a stinging criticism of the loss for UK

How UK lost International Court of Justice place to India

James Landale Diplomatic correspondent @BBCJLandale on Twitter

  • Nov 21, 2017

The International Court of Justice is the principal legal body of the United Nations. It is based in The Hague and its job is to settle disputes between states.
Lots of its work is highly technical and not exactly the stuff of the front pages. And let's be honest, many people would probably not have known that one of the 15 judges had always been British ever since the court was set up after the Second World War.
But the loss of a British presence around that supreme judicial bench is of huge significance - not just to the court but to the UK's standing in the world.
This is how it happened. Five of the 15 judges are elected every three years to ensure continuity. Britain's judge, Sir Christopher Greenwood, was hoping to win re-election for a second nine year term. He is a highly distinguished lawyer and former professor in international law at the LSE.
But there was a hitch. Rather unexpectedly, Lebanon's former ambassador to the UN put his hat in the ring. So instead of there being five candidates for five places, now there were six.
And the former ambassador, having spent many years at the UN, had enough friends to win the election. He won one of the slots reserved for candidates from Asia. This meant the Indian candidate - Dalveer Bhandari - had to try his luck for a slot normally reserved for Europeans and in this case that meant challenging the UK.
In recent days, the four other candidates were elected. But while Sir Christopher won the support of the UN Security Council, the Indian judge was backed by the UN General Assembly. A successful candidate needs a majority of support in both bodies. And after repeated votes, there was deadlock.
UK has had ICJ judge since 1946

The Indian government was working hard, twisting arms, lobbying furiously, pulling in favours. The Indian newspapers were full of accusations that the British were using "dirty tricks" to try to win. Some commentators compared Britain's behaviour to its old commander in chief of British India, Robert Clive. Few anti-colonialist tropes were left unused.
In contrast, British ministers made some telephone calls. The British did consider invoking a little known provision in the UN Charter which allows for an arbitration process known as a "joint conference" to try to resolve such an impasse.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Matthew Rycroft, the UK's ambassador to the UN, said he was "pleased" that a "close friend like India" had won. But in the end, the UK chose not to use this process, fearing either it would not get enough support in the UN Security Council, or that the competition would become too bitter and potentially disrupt the UK's economic relations with India.
Either way, it means that from early next year, when Sir Christopher stands down, the UK will not have a judge on the ICJ for the first time since 1946.
On one level, this reflects a shift in the balance of power at the UN away from the Security Council. Many members on the General Assembly resent the way the Security Council has so much power, particularly the five permanent members.
The so-called Group of 77 - which represents a coalition of mostly developing nations - has long been pushing for greater influence. The victory of India over the UK will be seen as a huge success for the G77 in pushing back against the traditional northern powers on the security council.
Diplomatic set back?

Foreign Office sources pointed out that the UK's ousting from the ICJ is not without precedent. They pointed to France failing to get its candidate onto the International Law Commission last year and Russia's exit from the Human Rights Commission.
But it is also true to say that this represents a defeat for the UK itself. This is a failure of UK diplomacy. Downing Street refused to confirm that Theresa May herself got involved in lobbying for this job - they merely said representations have been made at the highest levels of government. But Boris Johnson and his Foreign Office ministers were certainly involved. And they failed. They failed to win enough support in the General Assembly.
Matthew Rycroft, the UK's highly rated ambassador to the UN, said the UK had folded because it did not want to take up more of the UN's valuable time, and he said he was "pleased" that a "close friend like India" had won. Perhaps more frankly, he admitted that the UK was "naturally disappointed".
However hard the government tries, this defeat at the UN will be seen as a significant diplomatic set back, a symbol of Britain's reduced status on the world stage. Britain tried to win an election - but the community of nations backed the other side, no longer fearing any retribution from the traditional powers, no longer listening to what Britain had to say.
Some will blame this on Brexit. That might be a little simplistic. Few countries are as obsessed with Brexit as the UK. It is simply not at the front of their minds. But what is clear is that many countries at the UN were willing to defy Britain and that would have been less likely a few years ago.
The government likes to talk of what it calls "global Britain", a vision of a buccaneering UK, independent of the EU, promoting its interests and values and trade around the world. The problem is that many believe that vision has not yet been backed up with any policy substance.
Instead, rightly or wrongly, many countries see the UK turning in on itself to sort out the complexity of Brexit. They see it as a retreat from the international stage - whatever the Brexiteers argue to the contrary - and these countries are filling the vacuum accordingly.
We saw a sign of this earlier in the year in June, when the UN general assembly voted against Britain to refer a dispute between the UK and Mauritius over some islands in the Indian Ocean, to the International Court of Justice.
In another age, Britain would perhaps have called in favours, flexed its P5 muscles, and taken the fight to India. But instead it withdrew, at best to take a short term hit probably to avoid a long term economic loss. At worst it simply gave up because it had no alternative and as a result, for the first time in 71 years, the UK will no longer be represented in the world's highest court.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari is the fourth Judge from India to be elected to the Internnational Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands. Prior to him three other persons from our Country have occupied the ICJ . Maharaj Sri Nagendra Singh of Dungarpur, Sir B N Rau and Justice R.S.Pathak were the others.
Maharaj Sri Nagendra Prasad served the ICJ as the President of ICJ for three years.It is my view that the post of Judge in ICJ is more of Prestige than of Utility. Very few judgements of ICJ come to public notice !

While discussing about India's participation in International Judiciary, I remember the name of
Justice Radhabinod Pal, the Indian member of Tribunal of 11 members appointed to try Japanese war Crimes in World war II. He was the only Judge to write 1235 pages dissenting verdict in the Trial, that convicted the Japanese leaders.

Not open for further replies.

Latest ads

Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks