Rul­ing the Sea

NEERU CHADHA IS THE FIRST IN­DIAN WO­MAN TO BE ELECTED JUDGE ON THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL TRI­BUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA.

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WHEN NEERU CHADHA was elected to the In­ter­na­tional Tri­bunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) last year, she be­came only the sec­ond wo­man to be ap­pointed as a judge. Ham­burg­based ITLOS is an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­cial body un­der the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea and deals with all in­ter­na­tional dis­putes in this space.

Chadha, a lawyer of re­pute in the field of in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion and dis­pute, won the elec­tion in the first round it­self with 120 votes, the high­est in the Asia-Pa­cific group, thus prov­ing her worth. Chadha has been elected to the tri­bunal for a term of nine years, from 2017 to 2026.

Af­ter get­ting her Law de­grees from Delhi Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Michi­gan, Chadha worked with the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs for 14 years in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties. She was ap­pointed Chief Le­gal Ad­vi­sor to the min­istry in 2012, again a first for a wo­man.

She had rep­re­sented the coun­try in a num­ber of im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional dis­putes and ar­bi­tra­tions in that role. She also pre­sented In­dia’s Third Pe­ri­odic Re­port on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of In­ter­na­tional Covenant on Civil and Po­lit­i­cal Rights in Geneva in 1997, at­tended 37th-42nd AALCO (Asian African Le­gal Con­sul­ta­tive Or­gan­i­sa­tion) an­nual ses­sions and rep­re­sented the coun­try in the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly Ses­sions dur­ing 2006-2009 and 2011-2014.

Chadha was part of a spe­cial work­ing group on the Crime of Ag­gres­sion at the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court. She was the Agent for In­dia in the ne­go­ti­a­tions re­lated to Ces­sa­tion of Nu­clear Arms Race and Nu­clear Dis­ar­ma­ment at the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice, a mem­ber of the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee at the In­ter­na­tional Seabed Au­thor­ity and a mem­ber of the gov­ern­ing board of SAARC Ar­bi­tra­tion Coun­cil.

WHY SHE MAT T E RS

She is an em­i­nent ju­rist with ex­ten­sive in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion and lit­i­ga­tion ex­pe­ri­ence

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