Britain pulls out of race for ICJ judge seat

The International Court of Justice, shown here in April, will not have a British judge for the first time since it was established in 1945

Britain on Monday pulled its candidate from a hard-fought race for a seat on the International Court of Justice, allowing a judge from India to take the position.

It will be the first time since the ICJ was established in 1945 that there will be no British judge.

The election had turned into a stalemate between Britain's candidate Christopher Greenwood, who enjoyed support in the UN Security Council, and India's judge Dalveer Bhandari, who won the vote in the General Assembly.

"The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said Monday.

"We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates."

Greenwood had served one nine-year term at the ICJ based in The Hague and was seeking to serve a second.

Some diplomats attributed Britain's failure to rally support for its candidate at the General Assembly to a loss of influence, following London's decision to leave the European Union.

In June, the General Assembly voted to refer the legal status of the British-ruled Chagos Islands to the ICJ.

The other elected judges were Nawaf Salam of Lebanon, Ronny Abraham of France, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia and Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade of Brazil.

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