The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations.
The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
About the ICJ
- The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) serves as a world court with two types of jurisdiction: legal disputes between states that are brought to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal problems addressed to it by United Nations institutions and specialised agencies (advisory proceedings).
- Only states that are members of the United Nations and have either become parties to the Court’s Statute or accepted its jurisdiction under specified conditions are parties to disputed matters.
- The decision is final, binding on the parties to the case, and cannot be appealed (at the most it may be subject to interpretation or, upon the discovery of a new fact, revision).
- By signing the Charter, a United Nations Member State agrees to follow the Court’s ruling in any matter in which it is a party.
- The ICJ performs its functions as a complete court, but at the request of the parties, it may also form ad hoc chambers to investigate special matters.
- Advisory procedures before the Court are only available to five United Nations institutions and 16 United Nations family specialised agency or connected organisations. Opinions issued by the court in advisory proceedings are primarily advisory in nature and are not legally binding.
Role in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict
- Ukraine has filed an application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation concerning 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (the “Genocide Convention”).
- The ICJ can through its powers can make a binding judgement to prevent any further damage to the life and property of civilians
- It lacks the authority to trial anybody accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity. Because it is not a criminal court, it lacks a prosecutor who may commence proceedings.
- The ICJ has no compulsory jurisdiction and only has authority based on consent.
The International Court of Justice has both privileged institutional standing and procedural tools whose potential is usually underestimated. The International Court of Justice is a component not only of the Charter’s machinery for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, but also of the wider system it established for the maintenance of international peace and security.
How to structure
- Give an intro about United Nation’s International Court of Justice
- Explain in detail about it.
- Analyse how it can resolve the conflict using its powers. Cite on or two challenges as well