How The UK Finally Lost Its 70 Year Membership In The International Court Of Justice

How The UK Finally Lost Its 70 Year Membership In The International Court Of Justice

It is a step in the right direction for the international community, as it reflects a shift in power at the UN away from the Security Council.
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The United Kingdom has had a judge in the International Court of Justice since the ICJ was founded in 1945. This long-running membership ended with the 2017 ICJ elections, where the UK lost its International Court of Justice place to India. As of February 6th, 2018, this is the first time the International Court of Justice has been in session without a British member. The change has ended more than 70 years of British input. Five judges were up for re-election last year.

Britain’s judge, Sir Christopher Greenwood, was one of them, hoping to win re-election for his second 9-year term and he expected to win. The issue was created when Lebanon’s former ambassador decided to run unexpectedly and gained enough support that he took one of the seats that were reserved for Asia. This left 5 judges fighting for 4 seats. Since the Asian seat had already been taken, the Indian candidate, Dalveer Bhandari, challenged the UK and decided to run for the seat normally reserved for Europeans. The issue was that while the United Kingdom had the support of the Security Council, India had the support of the General Assembly. In order to secure a seat, a candidate must have majority support in both the Security Council and the General Assembly.

After a number of votes, there was a deadlock. The UK eventually backed away from the seat, fearing the competition would become too bitter and potentially disrupt the UK’s economic relations with India. The UK is viewing this as a foreign policy and diplomatic failure. In a report released by the cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee, it is stated that this will damage the UK’s international influence and future foreign policy strategy.

According to The National:

“'The committee has heard a number of possible reasons why the UK’s election campaign ended in failure. The most concerning was that it was an indication that the international standing of the UK was diminished, and specifically that there had been a fall in what Lord Hannay, former UK Permanent Representative to the UN, called the ‘trepidation index’- the extent to which countries worry about trampling on the UK’s toes.' Turning to Theresa May’s Brexit vision of 'Global Britain,' it says this 'must emphasize its commitment to the international rule of law, one of the UK’s strengths as a global player,' adding: 'This makes the loss of the UK judge particularly damaging, and worrying. It is bad enough that the UK will not have a judge for this term; a longer absence from the ICJ would be seriously damaging to UK interests.'”

Not only is this significant for the UK itself, but I believe it is a step in the right direction for the international community, as it reflects a shift in power at the UN away from the Security Council. Many members of the General Assembly resent the way the Security Council has so much power, particularly the five permanent members. The Group of 77, which represents a coalition of mostly developing nations, has long been pushing for greater influence. The victory of India over the United Kingdom in the ICJ election shows a shift in power that the G-77 are sure to be exceedingly happy with.

Cover Image Credit: Chris Brignola / Unsplash

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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