Washington: India’s Dalveer Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Based out of The Hague, the ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term.
Along with Justice Bhandari and Justice Greenwood, three others — Ronny Abraham of France, Antonio Augusto Canado Trindade of Brazil and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia — were seeking re-election.
Their terms expire on 5 February 2018.
Nawaf Salam of Lebanon was also in the fray, making a total of six candidate for five positions. Judges of France, Somalia, Lebanon and Brazil were elected after fourth round of voting late in the afternoon, as they received absolute majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council elections.
Stakes are now high for both India and Britain for the last seat. In the fourth round, Bhandari received a majority — 115 votes — in the General Assembly, while Greenwood received 76 votes. However, in the 15-member Security Council, Greenwood got majority (nine) of the votes as against six votes by Bhandari.
As a result, another round of votes has been scheduled for Monday. As per the United Nation’s ICJ election rules, candidates need to get absolute majority in the General Assembly and the Security Council.
Both elections are held simultaneously but independently of each other. That means 97 votes in the Assembly and eight votes in the Security Council are required to win the ICJ election.
Several rounds of elections were held today at the General Assembly and the Security Council in the absence of any candidates getting absolute majority.
Bhandari, 70, a former judge of the Supreme Court, was elected to the International Court of Justice on 27 April 2012 following a vacancy after the resignation of sitting court judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh from Jordan on being appointed as the Prime Minister. Bhandari had received 122 votes in the UN General assembly, against 58 for Florentino Feliciano from the Philippines.