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General Assembly, Security Council Elect Judge to International Court of Justice

The General Assembly, meeting concurrently with the Security Council this afternoon, elected Dalveer Bhandari (India) to the International Court of Justice for a nine year term, beginning on 6 February 2018.

Mr. Bhandari was elected by a vote of 183 in favour to zero against, with 10 abstentions, having received more than the required majority of votes in the Assembly. He did so following the withdrawal of Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom), the single opposing candidate.

A member of the International Court of Justice since April 2012, Mr. Bhandari previously served for more than two decades as a judge in India's higher judiciary, as well as a senior judge on the country's Supreme Court.

Today's votes in the Assembly and the Security Council followed the 9 November election of Judges Ronny Abraham (France), Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), AntAnio Augusto Cancado Trindade (Brazil) and Nawaf Salam (Lebanon) to fill four of the five soon to be vacant seats on the Court (see Press Release GA/11971), as well as five unsuccessful rounds of parallel voting on 13 November, in which delegates had to choose between Mr. Bhandari and Mr. Greenwood (see Press Release GA/11974). Neither candidate received the required absolute majority in both bodies on that date.

In a letter addressed to the Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak (Slovakia) � and mirrored by an identical letter to the President of the Security Council � Matthew Rycroft (United Kingdom) said the deadlock between Mr. Bhandari and Mr. Greenwood was unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting. As such, Mr. Greenwood had confirmed that his candidature for re-election to the Court should be withdrawn. In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and will continue to enjoy, he said.

The Court's justices are elected by obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both the Assembly and the Council, without regard to their nationality, from among persons of high moral character around the world. Each must have the qualifications required in his or her country for appointment to the highest judicial office, or must be a jurisconsult of recognized competencies in international law. No two judges may be from the same country and they may not engage in any other occupation during their term of office.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice settles legal disputes between States parties and gives advisory opinions to the Organization and its specialized agencies. The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all Members of the United Nations.

Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial body of the United Nations. Composed of 15 judges, it adjudicates between States, and its legal opinions are binding. The Court also issues advisory opinions when requested to do so.

Its composition on 6 February 2018 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses): Ronny Abraham (France) (2027); Dalveer Bhandari (India) (2027); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) (2024); AntAnio Augusto Cancado Trindade (Brazil) (2027); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Joan E. Donoghue (United States) (2024); Giorgio Gaja (Italy) (2021); Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation) (2024); Xue Hanqin (China) (2021); Hisashi Owada (Japan) (2021); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) (2021); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2021); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2027).

Having received the required majority in both the Assembly and the Security Council, Dalveer Bhandari (India) was elected to the International Court of Justice.

The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 21 November, to conclude its debate on the situation in Afghanistan and take action on a related draft resolution.

Source: United Nations

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