India eyes powerful UNSC seat, but for that, it must get Dalveer Bhandari into ICJ; global ambitions, justice at stake

By: | Published: November 20, 2017 4:15 PM

Bhandari and Britain's Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the Hague-based International Court of Justice.

Dalveer bhandari icj, india unsc seat, dalveer bhandari International Court of Justice, Christopher GreenwoodDalveer Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the Hague-based International Court of Justice.

It can be a big win for India at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) today, after much is at stake for the country in its effort to be recognised as one of the top global powers in the true sense of the term. As the United Nations is expected to vote for a new member to the panel of judges, sources say that the chances of India’s candidate Dalveer Bhandari paving the way into the body for himself is really high. It is reported that Bhandari will win the voting by a two-thirds margin in the 193-member General Assembly.

However, it will not be easy. Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the Hague-based International Court of Justice. As per reports, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council-the US, Russia, France and China-have rallied behind Greenwood as they fear that Bhandari winning the election would challenge their powers in the future. In the 11 rounds of election so far, Bhandari has been receiving support of nearly two-third of the members of the General Assembly but is trailing by three votes against Greenwood in the Security Council. The 12th round of elections has been scheduled for today. As per a Times of India report, the win for Bhandari can be a big step forward for India as it is campaigning for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council too. It will also showcase India’s heft as a major power in the UN General Assembly.

Dalveer Bhandari’s election to the ICJ can be of utmost importance at this point of time in other cases too. The ongoing hearing of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been in Pakistani custody over allegations of being an “Indian spy” and been put on death row there, has left the case hanging at a critical juncture. Earlier this year, India took Pakistan to the ICJ to seek consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The final judgment on will be delivered in December and if India does not have its judge there, it could severely hamper its attempts to save the man from gallows. Another thing at stake is that the election is about being fair and pertaining to justice. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has been quoted as saying by ToI that the election is no longer about the judge or the country he hails from, but about the UN General Assembly standing up against a member of a privileged club who has lost comprehensively among the members at large but still leads 9-6 in the Security Council. Tharoor even took to Twitter to say that ‘India is a country of consequence and weight in the world’.

 

 

Bhandari has enjoyed a two-third majority in the General Assembly but Greenwood has nine votes in the Security Council. As per ICJ rules, the candidates need to gain a majority in both the General assembly and Security Council to be declared elected.

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