Indian Judge Who Voted Against Israel at The ICJ

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Judge Dalveer Bhandari, an esteemed jurist with a distinguished career, has been a member of the ICJ since 2012.

NEW DELHI — The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday ordered Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Rafah, and one of the judges who favoured the ruling was Judge Dalveer Bhandari, the Indian representative at the ICJ.


Mr Bhandari, an esteemed jurist with a distinguished career, has been a member of the ICJ since 2012. Born in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur in 1947, he has received numerous accolades, including the Padma Bhushan in 2014, NDTV reported.

Mr Bhandari has advocated numerous landmark cases at the Supreme Court. He served as a senior judge of the Supreme Court having been elevated to the position on 28 October, 2005. He delivered numerous judgments in areas including public interest litigation, constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure, administrative law, arbitration, family law, labour and industrial law, and corporate law.

Since 2012, Mr Bhandari has been associated with all cases decided by the ICJ, contributing to significant issues such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, genocide, continental shelf delimitation, nuclear disarmament, terrorism financing, and sovereign rights violation, among others.

Judge Bhandari chaired the Delhi Centre of the International Law Association for several years. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he was the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. His notable ruling in a divorce case established that an irretrievable breakdown of marriage could be grounds for divorce, prompting the Centre to seriously consider amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. He has been honoured as one of the 15 most esteemed and distinguished alumni in the 150-year history of Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where he earned his Master of Law in 1971.

The ICJ ruling, announced by Presiding Judge Nawaf Salam, came in response to an application from South Africa accusing Israel of actions amounting to genocide. The ruling mandates that Israel must cease any actions that could lead to the physical destruction of the Palestinian population in Rafah.

The court’s decision was supported by a 13-2 vote, with only Judges Julia Sebutinde from Uganda and former Israeli High Court President Judge Aharon Barak dissenting. The ruling also stressed the need for Israel to provide unhindered humanitarian aid and access to UN bodies investigating the allegations of genocide.

Despite the ICJ’s ruling, Israel has firmly rejected the order. Israel’s National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, alongside the foreign ministry, stated that Israel’s military operations in Rafah are in accordance with international law and that they have no intention of creating conditions that would lead to the destruction of the Palestinian population. Israel’s War cabinet minister Benny Gantz echoed this sentiment, asserting that military operations would continue wherever deemed necessary.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, praised the ruling, urging for its immediate implementation. He stressed that adherence to ICJ resolutions is mandatory, highlighting Israel’s obligation as a party to the Genocide Convention.

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