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Indian, English judges to compete for International Court of Justice's office

Indian, English judges to compete for International Court of Justice's office

ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan finalising its strategy to fight the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian judge and an English judge will vie with each other in a run-off election scheduled to take place on Monday for the coveted office of a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

An informed source privy to the development told Dawn that the run-off election was being held in the ICJ because there was a tie between Judge Dalveer Bhandari of Indian descent and English judge Sir Christopher Greenwood during the previous rounds.

Every three years, five judges are elected for a nine-year term to the 15-member bench of the ICJ. Four judges from Brazil, Lebanon, France and Somalia have already been elected after five rounds of simultaneous voting in the Security Council and the General Assembly in New York. But there was no decision for the fifth judge because of the tie between Justice Bhandari and Sir Greenwood, since a candidate must obtain a majority of 97 votes or more in the UN General Assembly to get himself elected and also a majority of eight votes in the Security Council.

Sir Greenwood, in early 60s, has previously served as the professor of international law at the London School of Economics. Justice Bhandari is a retired judge of the Indian Supreme Court who was elected to the ICJ in April 27, 2012.

When asked whether Pakistan has any plans of exerting its influence in ICJ elections, especially against the backdrop of the Jadhav case, a source in the Foreign Office who wished not to be named said Pakistan was aware of the development because it was a principal stakeholder due to the pending complaint by India on the conviction of Indian spy Jadhav. Islamabad has already finalised its legal strategy to participate in the Jadhav case which is expected to commence early next year, he said.

Already Islamabad has decided to arrange a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on humanitarian grounds.

On May 18 the ICJ through an interim order had stayed Jadhav’s execution but the Foreign Office then informed the world court that the government of Pakistan had instructed relevant departments of the government to give effect to the ICJ’s order of May 18.

The ICJ that sits at the Peace Palace, The Hague, has set a deadline of Dec 13 by which Pakistan has to submit its counter-pleadings or counter memorial against Indian memorial before the international court after which final proceedings on the issue will commence likely from January next.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2017

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