27 April 2012 Dalveer Bhandari of India was elected today, during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, to a seat on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
Mr. Bhandari’s term at the ICJ, which is also known as the World Court and is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, begins immediately and runs through 5 February 2018.
He beat out Florentino Feliciano of the Philippines to fill the vacancy on the Court created on 31 December 2011 by the resignation of Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of Jordan.
Mr. Bhandari has been a judge in the higher Indian judiciary for more than 20 years, and currently serves as a senior judge in the Supreme Court of India.
Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same nationality. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court.
Established in 1945, the ICJ settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorized UN organs. The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all UN Member States.
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