A Peek Behind the Bench in the ICJ

AL JAZEERA – The notoriously secretive International Court of Justice opened their doors briefly Friday, revealing key details in the Jadhav case currently before the court.

Former Justice of the Supreme Court of India and one of the 15 current judges serving in the ICJ, Dalveer Bhandari, told Al Jazeera about the dispute between India and Pakistan over Pakistan’s sentencing of an Indian ex-naval officer.

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan on March 3 2016 and later sentenced to death for purported espionage, terrorism, and separatism. India has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by denying Jadhav consular access following his arrest. India is asking the ICJ to step in and declare the death sentence unlawful.

It is difficult to gauge the opinions of ICJ judges apart from their displeasure with the media. After only minutes inside the courtroom, several judges talked among themselves at a volume for all to hear, saying “we’re just going to have to wait for [the media] to leave before we can talk about any of that.”

All of the judges were cautious not to reveal their opinions on the case, however several statements indicate what the focus of the case seems to be. Several judges could be heard quietly discussing matters of Jurisdiction. Four minutes into the interview, the judges decided to again close their doors and return to deliberations and away from the Public’s eye.

The court is expected to give their ruling in the next day or two.