Following a loss of face at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Pakistan is reportedly considering the option of appointing an “ad hoc judge” to the ICJ, Indian Express reported. Pakistan’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs to Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz told reporters that the government will be constituting a team of lawyers to advocate for Pakistan “vigorously” at the global court. Speaking to IE, he said, “Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right,” Aziz told Samaa TV news channel on Friday. In the same breath, he defended the current legal team, saying it had “courageously presented Pakistan’s stance”. It must be remembered that India’s Justice Dalveer Bhandari remains on the bench of the International Court of Justice for the hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
As per the report, Pakistan is currently under the impression that India was at advantage at the ICJ due to the presence of former Supreme Court judge, Justice Dalveer Bhandari on the bench, a top Pakistani government functionary said, adding that the neighbours were pondering over the option of appointing an ad hoc judge. The functionary told reporters that such an ad hoc appointment lied in the Article 31, para 2 &3 of the ICJ Statute: “a State party to a case before the International Court of Justice which does not have a judge of its nationality on the Bench may choose a person to sit as judge ad hoc in that specific case under the conditions laid down in Articles 35 to 37 of the Rules of Court”.
The rules of the International Court of Justice state that a concerned party must announce its intentions of choosing an ad hoc judge as soon as possible. This is one of the biggest criticisms Pakistan is facing right now after the ICJ stayed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence. The Pakistani media reported that its law ministry was pondering over the name of Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, Jordan’s former Prime Minister for the post. Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh has already served as a judge at the International Court of Justice.