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ICJ and India

Current Affairs & Static GK
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In this article, we will discuss the relationship between ICJ and India. In what cases India is/ was involved in the International Court of Justice?

What is ICJ?

  • ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
  • It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • Unlike the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (USA).
  • It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
  • It has 193 state parties and the current President is Joan E. Donoghue.

Indian Judges at the ICJ

  • Judge Dalveer Bhandari: Member of the Court since 27 April 2012
  • Raghunandan Swarup Pathak: 1989-1991
  • Nagendra Singh: 1973-1988
  • Sir Benegal Rau: 1952-1953

What was the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case and What did ICJ Held on the Case?

  • Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 by Pakistani security forces in Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran.
  • He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on the charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
  • India has always maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is not a spy, and that Pakistan should provide counsellor access to him as his case pertains to abduction from the Iranian territory.
  • In May 9, 2018, ICJ has stayed his death sentence after India had moved a petition before the UN body to seek justice for him, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan.
  • ICJ Ruling: In 2019, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan was obliged under international laws to provide by means of its own choosing “effective review and reconsideration” of Jadhav’s conviction.
  • Pakistan’s Response: In the wake of the ICJ order, the Pakistan government promulgated a special ordinance to allow Jadhav to file a review.
    • Pakistan’s Parliament passed the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2021 aimed to fulfill the obligation under the verdict of the ICJ.
    • However, India pointed out that the law has several “shortcomings”, and that steps are needed to implement the ICJ’s order “in letter and spirit”.

In What Other Cases Was India Involved with the ICJ?

Apart from the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India has been a party to a case at the ICJ on five occasions, three of which have involved Pakistan. They are:

  • Right of Passage over Indian Territory (Portugal v. India, culminated 1960).
  • Appeal Relating to the Jurisdiction of the ICAO Council (India v. Pakistan, culminated 1972).
  • Trial of Pakistani Prisoners of War (Pakistan v. India, culminated 1973).
  • Aerial Incident of 10 August 1999 (Pakistan v. India, culminated 2000).
  • Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. India, culminated 2016).

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Source: https://www.drishtiias.com/important-institutions/drishti-specials-important-institutions-international-institution/international-court-of-justice-icj

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