UK judge withdraws from bid for Hague court seat

Britain has withdrawn its candidate for a seat on the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ).

It will be the first time the UK will not have a judge on the bench of 15 in the UN's court in The Hague since it began work in 1946.

The current British judge, Christopher Greenwood, was running for re-election to serve a second nine-year term.

His withdrawal from the run-off with Dalveer Bhandari means the Indian judge will take the position, with four other judges already having been elected to the ICJ.

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Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Monday: "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.

"The UK congratulates the successful candidates, including Judge Bhandari of India. We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates.

"If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead.

"We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the UN and globally.

"The UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally."