Dalveer Bhandari Got Reelected, International Court of Justice-How Are Judges Elected? (Important)

⪻ On New Articles ⪼

International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the highest judicial body having trans-national jurisdiction. It is filling several vacancies, with the terms of five serving judges coming to an end.

International Court of Justice

Dalveer Bhandari representing India has been re-elected as ICJ judge. His reelection would lend support to Kulbhushan Jadhav case currently pending before the court.

What is the ICJ?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) started work in 1946, after half a century of international conflict in the form of two World Wars.

  • Is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN)
  • Headquartered in Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Settles legal disputes submitted by states providing advisory opinions on legal questions
  • The cases and questions are submitted by authorized international branches, agencies, and UN General Assembly.

Powers of ICJ

ICJ has jurisdiction over:

Three Ways of Consent of States
  • Disputes between countries
  • Cases pertaining to violation of human rights according to international law.
  • Cases related to judicial arm of the United Nations.
  • The UN Security Council is authorized by Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter to enforce Court rulings, but enforcement is subject to veto by permanent members of the Security Council.

History of ICJ

  • The ICJ was established in 1945 by the UN Charter
  • Permanent Court of International Justice lost support, as it was not able to enforce its mandate, especially during the intervening war years.
  • ICJ has passed many landmark judgements, but their enforcement are not done properly by the UN Security Council.

How Are ICJ Judges Elected?

  • The ICJ has a total strength of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by members of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, where polling takes place simultaneously but independently.
  • To be elected, candidate must have an absolute majority in both bodies
  • To ensure continuity for pending cases, elections are conducted triennially only for a third of the 15-member Court.
  • Elections are held in New York during the autumn session of the United Nations General Assembly, and the elected judges enter office on February 6 of the subsequent year.
  • After the Court is in session, a President and Vice-President are elected by secret ballot to hold office for three years.
  • If a judge dies in office, resigns, or is incapacitated, a special election is held as soon as possible to fill the vacancy
  • Vacancy is filled only for the unexpired duration of the tenure.

Ensuring Representation

  • Court has a rigid ethno-cultural formula for representing ‘main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world.’
  • Of the 15 judges, it is mandated that three should be from Africa, two from Latin America and the Caribbean, three from Asia, five from Western Europe and other states, and two from Eastern Europe.
Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

Who Nominates Judges from Member Countries?

  • All states in Statute of the Court can propose candidates.
  • Selection process is apolitical by the members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration designated by that state to represent its interests in the Court.
  • Each group can propose a maximum of four candidates, of which only two may be citizens.
  • Other two nominees must be from other countries.
  • Groups are allowed to nominate the judges even from countries not party to the Statute.

Criteria for Judge Selection

All nominees for ICJ judge should have:

  • A ‘high moral character’
  • Credentials of highest judicial officials of respective countries.
  • Recognized competence in international law.

Dismissing Judge of ICJ

  • To keep the ICJ judges insulated from political influence judge can only be dismissed by unanimous opinion of all peers.
  • Dismissal has never happened in the 72-year history of the ICJ.

Recent Case of Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav (born 16 April 1970) is an Indian national who was arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of terrorism and spying for India. His case is currenly being fought at ICJ.

Developed by: