Neeru Chadha becomes first Indian woman to become member of ITLOS

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India continues to gain significant presence in the United Nations as international law expert Neeru Chadha has been elected to the 21 member International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Chadha is the first Indian woman to be elected to one of the top UN judicial bodies. The ITLOS deals with disputes related to laws of the sea and is one of the dispute settlement mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The eminent lawyer will serve a nine-year term in the ITLOS from 2017 to 2026.

Chadha secured 120 votes in the first round for the Asia Pacific group seat while a candidate from Thailand won the other seat in the group. The election was held for a total of seven seats in the 21 member judicial body.

Chadha has previously represented the Government of India in its maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh. She has also served as India’s agent in the Italian marines case filed by Italy in the ITLOS in 2012. Chadha was also the first woman chief legal advisor to the Indian government and has advised the government on issues related to maritime laws and their interpretation.