Indian Woman Elected as Judge at UN Body ITLOS

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Dr Neeru Chadha has become the first Indian woman to be elected as a judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS). She got 120 votes, the highest in the Asia Pacific group and was elected in the first round of voting itself.

International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas, is an intergovernmental organisation under the ambit of the United Nations. The body governs the laws on international waters.

The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members who are elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognised competence in the field of the law of the sea.

The Hamburg-based ITLOS, established in 1996, is one of dispute settlement mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that entered into force in 1994.

Chadha holds law degrees including PhD in law from the University of Delhi and the University of Michigan.

Dr Neeru Chadha had been India’s lead counsel during the trial of two Italian Marines over the death of two fishermen from Kerala.

Dr Chadha is the second Indian woman to occupy a top position at the United Nations after Lakshmi Pandit who served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly.

She has also earned the distinction of being the first woman to be appointed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a chief advisor and was a member of the Legal and Treaties Division of the Ministry.

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