By Arul Louis
United Nations– World Court Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India is running for re-election on Thursday when the UN General Assembly and the Security Council will hold separate ballots to elect five judges.
Bhandari was elected to the Hague-based International Court of Justice in 2012 to complete the remainder of the term of a retiring judge. He is now running for a full nine-year term and is facing Nawaf Salam of Lebanon for the judgeship representing Asia.
There are seven candidates for the five judgeships up for election this year. The five candidates who each get a majority of the votes in both the Assembly and the Council will assume office next February. The permanent members of the Council cannot veto a candidate.
The governments of all the seven candidates are campaigning for their candidates.
The Indian Mission to the UN held a reception for him last month to meet the delegates who will be voting in the election.
Besides Bhandari, President of the court Ronny Abraham of France, Vice President, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia, and Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade of Brazil and Christopher Greenwood of Britain, whose terms end this year, are running for re-election,.
The court does not officially have regional quotas but its statutes also say that the judges should represent the “main forms of civilization” and the “principal legal systems of the world” and this has in practice given rise to a regional distribution system.
Bhandari is representing a swathe of Asia from the Middle East to the Far East along with judges from China and Japan.
He was elected to succeed Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of Jordan and he defeated a candidate from the Philippines. Therefore, he will essentially be facing Salam who is also from the region.
While Bhandari also received nominations from Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia and Israel, Salam was nominated only by Lebanon and France.
Bhandari, who is from Rajasthan, has been a Supreme Court judge and the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
In June, Neeru Chadha was elected to International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) based in Hamburg, Germany.
In elections to yet another international legal post, Aniruddha Rajput was elected by the UN General Assembly to the International Law Commission last November. (IANS)