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How India won at the ICJ and stalled hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav

By Vicky

The arguments by India at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case was crucial. India was aware that Pakistan would raise the issue regarding the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. In the legal circles there was a lot of worry about this point being raised and to overcome that various other options were used.

[BIG win for India: Pakistan cannot execute Kulbhushan Jadhav says ICJ]

Kulbhushan Jadhav

The ICJ on Thursday stayed the execution of Jadhav by Pakistan. India had contended that he is a former naval officer while Pakistan accused him of being a spy

India was represented by senior counsel, Harish Salve who according to Sushma Swaraj charged just Re 1 to fight the case. India raised some crucial points while putting forth its arguments.

[Read the Kulbhushan Jadhav order by ICJ here]

Consular matter is not about the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ over a matter, India had stated. Further India invoked the Optional Protocol of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). This international treaty has ICJ as the arbiter in disputes.

India further said that the bases for jurisdiction are separate from what happened in 1999 where in an aerial incident, the ICJ had upheld the Indian view on jurisdiction.

[The Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict in 9 points]

The Indian side believed that that the bi-lateral treaty with Pakistan will not be a factor here. Islamabad has been arguing that this 2008 treaty exempts those cases that are related to national security. However in the UN charter it is stated that "no party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article (102) may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations". By putting forth this argument, India was able to state that Pakistan will not be able to invoke the bilateral treaty in the ICJ.

Further it was also pointed out that Pakistan had revised its declaration on compulsory jurisdiction, which spells out terms under which Islamabad accepts the ICJ on matters of dispute settlement. India moved the international court under 36 (1) of the ICJ statute, because both India and Pakistan are signatories to the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

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