Neeru Chadha elected as first Indian woman member of ITLOS

On June 14, 2017, eminent international law expert, Neeru Chadha became the first Indian woman to be elected as a judge at International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

  • Neeru Chadha got 120 votes, the highest in the Asia Pacific group and was elected in the first round of voting itself.
  • She has been elected for a nine-year term from 2017 to 2026.

About Neeru Chadha:

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

  • She has extensive international arbitration and litigation experience.
  • Chadha was the first woman chief legal adviser to the Indian government and has advised the government on diverse issues relating to the law of the sea involving interpretation of various provisions of the UNCLOS including determining the extent of coastal state’s jurisdiction in different maritime zones, maritime delimitation with neighbouring states and legal issues relating to submissions on extended continental shelf.
  • She has represented the Indian government in various mulNeeru Chadha elected as first Indian woman member of ITLOStilateral meetings and conferences viz. Hague Conference, United Nations, SAARC and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi— Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Cases Handled by Neeru Chadha: 

Maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh.

  • Case filed by Italy in ITLOS involving two Italian marines accused of shooting two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.
  • Case concerning the Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to cessation of nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament with Marshall Islands.

Quick Facts about International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS):

ITLOS is one of dispute settlement mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that entered into force in 1994.

  • ITLOS was founded in year 1996.
  • 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.
  • Administrative Center of ITLOS is located in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Vladimir V. Golitsyn is the current President of ITLOS.
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