Indian nominee Neeru Chadha was on 15 June 2017 became the first Indian Woman to be elected as the Member of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Chadha, international law expert, got 120 votes with the highest in the Asia Pacific group. She will have a nine-year term as the Judge at ITLOS from 2017 to 2026.
Currently, eminent jurist from India P Chandrasekhara Rao is a judge at the tribunal. He was elected as the member of the tribunal in 1996 and his term will expire in September 2017.
About Neeru Chadha
• Neeru Chadha is an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the Chief Legal Adviser in the Union Ministry of External Affairs and has advised the government on diverse issues relating to the law of the sea involving interpretation of various provisions of the UNCLOS.
• With an extensive international arbitration and litigation experience, she had served as an agent for the Indian government in its maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh.
• She was also India’s agent for the case filed by Italy in ITLOS involving two Italian marines accused of shooting two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.
• She also served as an agent before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case concerning the Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to cessation of nuclear arms race.
• She represented India in various other multilateral meetings and conferences in the United Nations including AALCO (Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation), UNIDROIT (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law), etc.
• Chadha has also represented India at The Hague Conference, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
• She holds law degrees including PhD in law from the University of Delhi and the University of Michigan.
About International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)
Established in 1996, ITLOS is one of the dispute settlement mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that entered into force in 1994.
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.
Who: Neeru Chadha
When: 15 June 2017