Current Affairs – 22-11-2017

1.INDIA PULLS OFF A DIPLOMATIC COUP, WINS PRIZED ICJ SEAT

India scored a major diplomatic victory as its nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected after the United Kingdom withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood.The U.K. chose to withdraw after it became clear that it would not win the contest in the General Assembly (GA) and it did not have adequate support in the Security Council (UNSC) for its attempts to derail the voting process itself.

Many firsts

  • This is the first time in over seven decades of the United Nations that the U.K. will not be represented in the ICJ; and this is the first time that one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council lost out to an ordinary member in a race. This is also the first time that one sitting member of the ICJ lost out to another sitting member.
  • The winning candidate required a majority in both the GA and the UNSC, but 11 rounds of voting until last week had ended with India winning in the GA and the U.K. winning in the SC.
  • With the UK announcing its exit from the race, in the 12th round, Mr. Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the GA and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held.
  • The U.K. had nine of the 15 UNSC votes in the previous rounds, leading to a stalemate though India had an overwhelming majority in the GA. It initially wanted to suspend the voting process and move to a conference mechanism that has never been used in the history of the UN to break the stalemate. But this move needed approval by the UNSC in an open voting while the voting for the ICJ is through a secret ballot.

2.NO NEED FOR PRIVACY IN COURT, SAYS SC

This was a follow-up to their March order to have CCTVs installed inside courtrooms and at vantage points within court complexes in at least two districts across States and Union Territories.

Dismissing apprehensions raised that such recordings would intrude into the privacy of judicial minds in action, Apex court responded, “There is no privacy in a court. We are sitting here for all.”

Appearing for the government, Additional Solicitor General submitted that the government has “already taken steps” and the financial outlay of the project is under preparation.

  • The Bench had asked why the judiciary in India should be considered any different from the judges of other countries who do not consider recording of proceedings a violation of privacy of court proceedings.
  • The Bench has even mulled the possibility of recording tribunal proceedings.The court has expanded the scope of a petition filed by Pradyuman Bisht for installing CCTV cameras in criminal courts as a measure to ensure fair trials.
  • On March 28, the Supreme Court had directed that in at least “two districts in every State/Union Territory (with the exception of small States/Union Territories where it may be considered to be difficult to do so by the concerned High Courts) CCTV cameras (without audio recording) may be installed inside the courts and at such important locations of the court complexes as may be considered appropriate”.
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