A viral post claiming that Judge Dalveer Bhandari has been elected as the Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has gone viral on social media.
Born in Jodhpur in October 1947, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, served as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court in July 2004 and then as a senior judge of the Supreme Court from 2005 onwards. In 2012 he was elected as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the Netherlands.
According to the viral tweet, the post of Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice was held by Great Britain for 71 years, but this time Justice Bhandari secured the post after receiving 183 votes out of 193.
Facebook user @untoldtruth’s post gained the maximum interaction as per Crowd tangle with 348 reactions, 108 shares and 18 comments at the time of writing this article.
Actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha also tweeted the same claim on August 30, 2021 from his verified twitter handle- @ShatruganSinha. At last count, Sinha’s tweet had attracted 515 likes and 51 retweets on twitter.
Sinha’s tweet mentions an article by the publication Bar and Bench in his tweet. However, the article by the publication does not support the claim made by his tweet. The article by Bar and Bench reads, “Bhandari is the fourth Indian to be a member of ICJ..”, which is not what the tweet by Sinha claims which says- “..Judge Bhandari has been elected as the Chief Justice of ICJ..”
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was established by the United Nations in June 1945 and started functioning in April 1946. Located in the Peace Passes of The Hague in The Netherlands, ICJ functions as a body for settling legal disputes between nations. It comprises 193 countries and consists of 15 judges who are usually elected for a term of 9 years. However, if a judge resigns before finishing their term, a new judge is elected for the remainder of the duration.
The official website of the International Court of Justice outlines the organization of the court. The Chapter 1, Article 21 of ICJ mentions that the court elects a President and a Vice-President for a term of three years. According to ICJ’s website, on 8 February 2021, Judge Joan E. Donoghue of America and Kirill Gevorgian of Russia were elected as President and Vice President of the court respectively. The website of the International Court of Justice has no mention of a position called “Chief Justice” nor does it have any reference to any such position being held by anyone in the past.
In April 2012, The International Court of Justice announced that Justice Bhandari had been elected as member of the ICJ for the first time, succeeding former judge and Vice President of the Court, Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of Jordan after his resignation the previous year.
Justice Bhandari was subsequently re-elected in November 2017, as a member of the ICJ for a full term of nine years after securing 183 out of 193 votes. This was also widely covered by mainstream Indian news outlets.
A list of current members of the Court confirms that Justice Dalveer Bhandari from India is currently designated as a member of the court.
Newscheckers investigation reveals that the International Court of Justice does not have a post for Chief Justice. Thus, Justice Dalveer Bhandari has not been elected as the Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice in 2017, he remains a member from 2012 onwards.
Therefore, this viral claim misleads the reader into believing that Justice Bhandari was elected as the Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).