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    International Court of Justice

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    International Law and International Jurisdiction

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Overview

    The ICJ: Judgments & Advisory Opinions: How to Find a Judgment

    The ICJ: The Procedure before the Court: How to Find the Court Rules

    Authorship History

    Written by Dana Neacșu. Updated by Josh Freeman.

    The International Court of Justice Research Guide

    The following is a guide to help you start your own research in this area. If you have any research questions email them to us at referencedesk@law.columbia.edu.

    The International Court of Justice

    International Law and International Jurisdiction

    At the end of the 19th century, governments met at the First Peace Conference at The Hague and decided to codify international law in treaties. Furthermore, they reached an agreement to establish the first permanent international court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration. However, as arbitration brings with it an air of ad hoc exceptional solutions, the international community soon decided to move towards international adjudication, where a court would implement international law. Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations provided for the creation of a judicial body entrusted with two kinds of jurisdiction: contentious and advisory were clearly envisaged. In 1921, the predecessor of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) materialized. The PCIJ was dissolved in 1946 at the same time as the League of Nations.

    The ICJ is an organ of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice forms an integral part of the Charter of the United Nations. The court has functioned since 1945. It does not have compulsory international jurisdiction, and its main function remains to decide in accordance with international law all disputes submitted to it (Article 38).

    Of course, the ICJ is not the only international court, there are many regional international courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and there are many specialized international courts, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Additionally, the ICJ, is not the only court that applies international law. Today, more and more national courts choose to apply international law for crimes that are defined according to the principles of international law. However, the ICJ remains the only court that continues the tradition of the Permanent Court of securing “the pacific settlement of international disputes.” (Guerrero, 1946).

    Finding Aids and Other Research Resources

    HLS Library. Basic Treatises about the ICJ and the PCIJ Research Guide. (2018)

    NYU Law, . International Law Research. Research Guide - International Court of Justice] (October 2019)

    International Court of Justice. Official Web Site.


    World Court Reports: A Collection of the Judgments, Orders, and Opinions of the Permanent Court of International Justice


    This publication in four volumes cover the PCIJ’s jurisdiction from 1922 through 1942.

    2nd Fl Microfilm Cabinet 48 -- JX1975.A5 P91

    Publications of the Permanent Court of International Justice

    It contains judgments (Series A), advisory opinions (Series B), orders (A/B), pleadings, oral statements, (Series C), acts, and documents regarding the organization of the court (Series D) and annual reports (Series E). Our library has Series A, no. 1-24 (1923-30); Series B, no. 1-18 (1922-30); Series A/B, no. 40-80 (1931-40); Series C, no. 1-19, 52-88 (1922-39); Series D, no. 1-6; Series E, no. 1-16 (1922-45); Series F, no. 1-4.

    2nd Floor – JX1976.C5 Am76 2003

    Amr, Mohamed Sameh M. The Role of the International Court of Justice as the Principle Judicial Organ of the United Nations. (2003)

    Published by Kluwer Law International, this is a concise overview of the role of the ICJ within the international community, and especially of its function of dispensing both advisory and contentious adjudication.

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Overview

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was established in 1945. It sits at The Hague, in the Netherlands, and acts as a world court in view of the customary international norm which states that all states “shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.” Article 2(3) of the Charter of the United Nations.

    According to Article 34 of the ICJ Statute, only states may be parties in cases before the court. "The Court has a dual role: to settle in accordance with international law the legal disputes submitted to it by States, and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies." Individuals do not have access to the court. International organizations may seek advisory opinions. Although a state does not need to be a member of the UN to bring a case before the court, if it chooses to bring such a case it must comply with the decision of the Court and accept all the obligations of a member.

    The basis of the Court’s jurisdiction in contentious cases is given by the State party’s consent (Art 36 of the Statute. However, in light of declarations made under Article 36 of the Statute, for the parties to the Statute, the ICJ’s jurisdiction has been described as being compulsory. The ICJ jurisdiction  is also regulated by its Statute and it covers legal disputes concerning:

    स्रोत : guides.law.columbia.edu

    Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

    Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The International Court of Justice has jurisdiction in two types of cases: contentious cases between states in which the court produces binding rulings between states that agree, or have previously agreed, to submit to the ruling of the court; and advisory opinions, which provide reasoned, but non-binding, rulings on properly submitted questions of international law, usually at the request of the United Nations General Assembly. Advisory opinions do not have to concern particular controversies between states, though they often do.

    Contentious cases[edit]

    The key principle is that the Court only has jurisdiction on the basis of consent. The court has no true compulsory jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is often a key question for the Court, because it is challenged by the respondent. At the Preliminary Objections phase, a respondent may challenge (i) jurisdiction and/or (ii) admissibility of the case. Article 36 outlines four bases on which the Court's jurisdiction may be founded.

    Only states may be parties in contentious cases before the ICJ. Individuals, corporations, parts of a federal state, NGOs, UN organs and self-determination groups are excluded from direct participation in cases, although the Court may receive information from public international organisations. This does not preclude non-state interests from being the subject of proceedings if one state brings the case against another. For example, a state may, in case of "diplomatic protection", bring a case on behalf of one of its nationals or corporations.

    Special agreement[edit]

    First, 36(1) provides that parties may refer cases to the Court (jurisdiction founded on "special agreement" or ). This method is based on explicit consent and is, perhaps, the most effective basis for the Court's jurisdiction. It is effective because the parties concerned have a desire for the Court to resolve the dispute, and are thus more likely to comply with the Court's judgment. Parties will usually define the nature of the dispute between them and the legal questions on which they wish the Court to rule.

    Compromissory clause[edit]

    Second, 36(1) also gives the Court jurisdiction over "matters specifically provided for ... in treaties and conventions in force". Many treaties will contain a compromissory clause, providing for dispute resolution by the ICJ. For instance, Article 36(2) of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances provides for mediation and other dispute-resolution options, but also states that "[a]ny such dispute which cannot be settled ... shall be referred, at the request of any one of the States Parties to the dispute, to the International Court of Justice for decision".[2] Cases founded on compromissary clauses have not been as effective as cases founded on special agreement, since a state may have no interest in having the matter examined by the Court and may refuse to comply with a judgment. Since the 1970s the use of such compromissory clauses has declined. Many modern treaties set out their own dispute-resolution regime, often based on forms of arbitration. In 1987, upon the initiative of Mikhail Gorbachev, all of the permanent members of the Security Council began negotiations for expanding the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. The content of these negotiations is to date unknown, and no agreements were reached. See Richard B. Bilder, "Judicial Procedures Relating to the Use of Force," ch. 28 in Lori Damrosch & David Scheffer, Law and Force in the New International Order (1991).

    Optional clause declarations[edit]

    Thirdly, Article 36(2) allows states to make declarations accepting the Court's jurisdiction as compulsory ("optional clause declarations"). Not all countries accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, ICJ. For example, Australia accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction "with reservations" whereas Brazil has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, directly. However, Brazil has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction by becoming a Party to the Pact of Bogota.[1]

    It was, moreover, to a Brazilian delegate, Raul Fernandes, that the concept of the optional compulsory jurisdiction mechanism was owed. First adopted in 1922 for the Permanent Court of International Justice (the predecessor of the International Court of Justice under the League of Nations), this system was readopted in 1945 for the International Court of Justice. "The 'Fernandes clause' has thus had the merit, not only of having represented a historic step forward for international law, but also of constituting today, for 62 States, one of the bases of the Court's jurisdiction", according to its president.[2]

    Succession from PCIJ[edit]

    Finally, 36(5) provides for jurisdiction on the basis of declarations made under the Permanent Court of International Justice's statute. Article 37 of the ICJ's statute similarly transfers jurisdiction under any compromissory clause in a treaty that gave jurisdiction to the PCIJ.

    Doctrine of Forum Prorogatum[edit]

    The doctrine of forum prorogatum entails the consent of the respondent state with regards to the ICJ having jurisdiction over the case. Refer to the Corfu Case.

    Advisory opinions[edit]

    An advisory opinion is a function of the court open only to specified United Nations bodies and agencies. On receiving a request, the Court decides which States and organizations might provide useful information and gives them an opportunity to present written or oral statements. The Court's advisory opinion procedure is otherwise modelled on that for contentious cases, and the sources of applicable law are the same. In principle the Court's advisory opinions are consultative in character and as such do not generally result in judgments that aim to resolve specific controversies. Certain instruments or regulations can, however, provide in advance that the advisory opinion shall be specifically binding on particular agencies or states.

    स्रोत : en.wikipedia.org

    The Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice on JSTOR

    E. Hambro, The Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, Transactions of the Grotius Society, Vol. 34, Problems of Public and Private International Law, Transactions for the Year 1948 (1948), pp. 127-140


    Transactions of the Grotius Society

    , pp. 127-140 (14 pages)

    Published By: Cambridge University Press


    Cambridge University Press (www.cambridge.org) is the publishing division of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading research institutions and winner of 81 Nobel Prizes. Cambridge University Press is committed by its charter to disseminate knowledge as widely as possible across the globe. It publishes over 2,500 books a year for distribution in more than 200 countries. Cambridge Journals publishes over 250 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide range of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today. For more information, visit http://journals.cambridge.org.

    This item is part of a JSTOR Collection.

    For terms and use, please refer to our

    Transactions of the Grotius Society © 1948 British Institute of International and Comparative Law

    स्रोत : www.jstor.org

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