General Assembly, Security Council Fail to Elect Remaining Judge for International Court of Justice

GA/11974
13 November 2017
Seventy-second Session, 49th to 53rd Meetings (PM)

General Assembly, Security Council Fail to Elect Remaining Judge for International Court of Justice

The General Assembly today, meeting independently from, but concurrently with the Security Council, failed to elect the last of five judges to the International Court of Justice for a nine‑year term, beginning on 6 February 2018.

In five rounds of voting, Member States chose between Dalveer Bhandari (India) and Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom), with Bhandari obtaining the absolute majority of votes each time.  Mr. Greenwood obtained an absolute majority in the Security Council.  As the same candidate was not successful in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Assembly decided to hold another meeting to fill the remaining vacancy at a time to be announced at a later date.  For General Assembly results of the 10 November election, see Press Release GA/11971, and for Security Council results, see Press Release SC/13063.  For today’s Security Council results, see Press Release SC/13064.

Dalveer Bhandari (India) has been a member of the International Court of Justice since 27 April 2012.  Prior to that he had been a judge in the higher Indian judiciary for more than 20 years, and had served as a senior judge in India’s Supreme Court.  He was unanimously elected as President of the India International Law Foundation in 2007, a position he continues to hold.  He also previously served as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom) has been a member of the International Court of Justice since 6 February 2009.  He is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators for the Law of the Sea Treaty; the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes; and the United Kingdom National Group Permanent Court of Arbitration.  Knighted for his service to public international law in 2009, he practiced at the London Bar from 1984 through 2009.  He holds a Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Laws in public international law from the University of Cambridge (Magdalene College), United Kingdom.

The Court’s justices are elected by obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both the Assembly and the Council, without regard to their nationality, from among persons of high moral character around the world.  Each must have the qualifications required in his or her respective country for appointment to the highest judicial office, or is a jurisconsult of recognized competencies in international law.  No two judges may be from the same country and they may not engage in any other occupation during their term of office.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice settles legal disputes between States parties and gives advisory opinions to the Organization and its specialized agencies.  The Court is open to all parties to its Statute, which automatically includes all Members of the United Nations.

First Round

The results of the first round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

3

Number of Members voting:

189

Required majority:

97

Number of votes obtained:

 

Bhandari, Dalveer (India)

110

Greenwood, Christopher (United Kingdom)

79

As the General Assembly and Security Council did not elect the same person for the one vacancy, with the Council electing Mr. Greenwood in an absolute majority, the Assembly began another round of voting.

Second Round

The results of the second round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

3

Number of Members voting:

189

Required majority:

97

Number of votes obtained:

 

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

113

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

76

Although Mr. Bhandari had received the absolute majority in the Assembly, Mr. Greenwood received the absolute majority in the Security Council.  The Assembly began another round of voting.

Third Round

The results of the third round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

2

Number of Members voting:

190

Required majority:

97

Number of votes obtained:

 

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

111

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

79

As the General Assembly and Security Council again did not elect the same person for the one vacancy, with the Council electing Mr. Greenwood in an absolute majority and the Assembly electing Mr. Bhandari, the Assembly began another round of voting.

Fourth Round

The results of the fourth round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

1

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

1

Number of Members voting:

190

Required majority:

97

Number of votes obtained:

 

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

118

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

72

As Mr. Bhandari once again received the absolute majority in the Assembly and Mr. Greenwood the absolute majority in the Security Council, the Assembly began another round of voting.

Fifth Round

The results of the fifth round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

3

Number of Members voting:

189

Required majority:

97

Number of votes obtained:

 

Dalveer Bhandari (India)

121

Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom)

68

In accordance with the provisions of article 11 of the Statute of the Court, the Assembly decided to hold another meeting at a date to be decided.

The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 14 November, to conclude its debate on the revitalization of its work.

For information media. Not an official record.