Law commission

Bimal Patel elected to International Law Commission for five-year term

New Delhi: Professor Bimal Patel, Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Raksha University and a member of India’s National Security Advisory Council, was elected to the International Law Commission for a five-year term, in a hard-fought election disputed at the United Nations.

“Heartfelt congratulations to Professor Bimal Patel @RakshaUni on his election to the International Law Commission as head of the group,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, tweeted on Friday, thanking all states members of the United Nations for their support of India’s candidacy.

Patel, 51, garnered 163 votes in the UN General Assembly out of 192 members present and voting, topping the Asia-Pacific group which included candidates from China, South Korea and Japan. He will serve a five-year term beginning January 1, 2023.

In the Asia-Pacific group, there were 11 strong candidates vying for 8 seats, making the election hotly contested.

“Professor Bimal Patel from India is elected to the ILC for a 5-year term. Our contribution to the ILC will reflect the commitment to uphold the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law,” the Permanent Mission of India to the UN tweeted, in the context of the growing global concern over China’s military flexing in the Indo-Pacific region. .

Sincere gratitude to all the countries that gave their confidence to the Indian candidate with the highest number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group, the mission said.

India leads the group with 163 votes for Patel, followed by 162 votes for Thailand, 154 for Japan, 145 for Vietnam.

China could manage 142 votes, followed by 140 for South Korea, 139 for Cyprus and 123 for Mongolia.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing has also made substantial progress in militarizing its man-made islands in recent years.

Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square kilometers of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has built military bases on artificial islands in the region which, in part, is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Beijing has hampered commercial activities such as fishing and mineral exploration by neighboring countries in recent years, saying ownership of the resource-rich maritime territory has been China’s for hundreds of years.

Patel is an esteemed educationalist, jurist and administrator and in his professional career spanning more than three decades, he has held various positions such as Principal of Gujarat National Law University and Member of the 21st Law Commission of India.

He worked for 15 years in global organizations such as the United Nations Youth and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, Netherlands, according to his profile on the website of the Rashtriya Raksha University.

The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly in 1947 to undertake the Assembly’s mandate to “undertake studies and make recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification”.

The Statute of the International Law Commission provides that the Commission is composed of 34 members who must be persons of recognized competence in international law.

The members of the commission are to be elected by the General Assembly from a list of candidates submitted by the governments of the member states of the United Nations.