UK 'naturally disappointed' after losing seat on ICJ

Candidate from India fills the final spot on UN bench

The UK has lost its seat on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the first time since 1946.

Sir Christopher Greenwood, the current British judge, was running for re-election to serve a second nine-year term but the government withdrew his candidacy after six rounds of votes with India’s Dalveer Bhandari ended in a deadlock.

“An acrimonious competition”, stated The Guardian while describing the race between India and the UK. While Sir Christopher was backed by the UN Security Council, Bhandari was chosen by the General Assembly.

The UK’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, said: “…We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates. If the UK could not win in this runoff, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally.”

Downing Street refused to confirm that UK Prime Minister Theresa May was involved in lobbying for Sir Christopher to get the job, saying only that representations were made at the highest levels of government, reports BBC.

Five judges are elected to the ICJ every three years. Four other judges, from Brazil, France, Lebanon and Somalia, had already been elected to the ICJ in the earlier rounds.

Based at The Hague, the UN court has 15 members and its job is to settle disputes between countries.

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