Indian nominee to the International Court of Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the United Nations’ principal judicial wing on Monday after Britain pulled out of the race, reported The Guardian. Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood were both eyeing the last seat at the world court in Hague.

Although Greenwood withdrew his candidature, the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council held the voting procedure at its headquarters in New York. Bhandari got 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and all the 15 votes in the Security Council.

British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the 12th round of voting began at 3 pm (local time). In the letter, Rycroft argued that current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and thus Britain would like to pull out.

In the 11 rounds of voting so far, India has won in the General Assembly while the United Kingdom has won in the Security Council. The vote pattern showed Bhandari had the support of a majority of the UN General Assembly, but all five permanent members of the Security Council rallied behind Britain.

This is the first time in ICJ’s 71-year history that the UK will not have a judge on the bench of the international court, according to The Guardian. Monday’s voting was significant, as it is for the first time in the history of the UN that the candidacy of a permanent member was challenged in this way, The Hindu reported.

The result is also crucial as New Delhi has been campaigning for reforms, including a permanent seat in the powerful Security Council. “There is an element of prestige to have an Indian elected to such a position,” said Shashi Tharoor, Congress party MP and former UN undersecretary general, PTI reported.

Bhandari was first elected to a seat in the International Court of Justice in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. His current term finishes in February 2018. He will now serve an additional nine-year term as an ICJ judge.

Why India’s win is important

The International Court of Justice has 15 judges on its bench. Elections for one-third of its judges are held every three years. Four judges to the ICJ were elected earlier this month when they received the required majority of votes in both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

An Indian voice on the bench is important now as matters related to India are pending before the court, including that of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on charges of spying.

Bhandari now joins Indians such as BN Rau, Nagendra Singh and RS Pathak, who have been ICJ judges.