Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected as a Judge in the International Court of Justice

Date: November 21, 2017

ICJ India Dalveer Bhandari UK

Indian candidate Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected [for the term 2018-2027] as a Judge in the International Court of Justice after Britain has withdrawn his candidate Christopher Greenwood.

Justice Bhandari got 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council in the election held at the UN headquarters in New York.


In the 70 years of the UN's existence, never has a candidate belonging to the elite P-5 group been absent from the world court

 This has shown two things —

first, the inexorable shift of power to countries like India and

second, the extreme reluctance of the ancient regime to accept the change.

The battle between the last two candidates left in the field,

Dalveer Bhandari of India and Christopher Greenwood of the UK is symptomatic of this global tension.

After the last round of balloting, Bhandari logged 121 votes in the UNGA, moving up from 116 in the last round, a tribute to India's sustained multilateral diplomacy. Greenwood reduced his numbers from 76 to 68. However, in the UN Security Council, India lags six votes to Greenwood's nine.

This number has been unchanged and is important for a couple of things:

 first, India has not lost the support it has already gathered, and

second, the P5 are unlikely to abandon one of their own.

In normal circumstances, the evident momentum in Bhandari's favour should have been able to swing one or two Security Council votes towards him. But the P-5 have not budged from their positions.

But the very fact that India, a non-P5 has prevented a sweep by the UK tells of an unfolding inevitability — if not Bhandari, India has shown that the P5 glass ceiling cannot possibly sustain for too long.