International Court of Justice-Headquarters of International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial agency of the United Nations that settles disputes between states. It also advises on international legal issues related to the United Nations.

Apart from this, the International Court of Justice, through its opinion and judgment, acts as a source of international law, as well as all the members of the United Nations are also parties to the International Court of Justice.

It was established in 1945 and started functioning from 1946.

At present, the International Court of Justice is the only organ of the United Nations whose headquarters is located outside the US in  The Hague (Netherlands). 

The matter is of 1889, at that time a peace conference was organized in The Hague. During this time the first permanent institution Premanent court of arbitration was established for the settlement of international disputes.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration started functioning from the year 1902. Further, between 1911 and 1919, various plans and proposals were presented by national and international bodies and governments for the establishment of an international tribunal, which led to the establishment of the Permanent Court of International  Justice (PCIJ).

In 1945, China, the Soviet Union, the USA and the UK issued a joint declaration, emphasizing the need to establish a new international organization. And it was said that this organization would be open to the establishment of international peace and security, the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, that is, even small members

After this, in October 1945, it was decided to convert the parent court of international justice (PCIJ) into the International Court of Justice. Later, in April 1946, the Permanent Court of International Justice was formally dissolved and the International Court of Justice met for the first time. 

The official languages of the International Court of Justice are English and French. There are 15 judges in the International Court of Justice. These 15-judge judges are elected by the United Nations General Assembly Security Council for a 9-year term  Judges of the International Court of Justic can also be elected twice, although the candidate to be elected must have an absolute majority in the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Of the 15 judges are elected from different continents in which all regions can be represented  

It consists of 3 judges from the region, 2 judges from Eastern Europe, 5 judges from Western Europe and 3 judges from other states, 2 from Africa, 2 from Latin America and the Caribbean. These judges are not representatives of the government of the country from which they are elected.

Before commencing work in the International Court of Justic, a judge has to make a clear declaration in open court that he will exercise his powers in a spirit of fairness and conscientiousness. In order to preserve the independence of the judges, no member can be dismissed unless, in the opinion of the other members, he fulfills the necessary conditions, although no judge has been dismissed so far.

At the same time, under Article 93 (ii), such people who are not members of the United Nations can also become a party to it. In this, the first is to adjudicate in accordance with international law on disputed matters to be presented by the member states and secondly to provide advisory and legal opinion on legal questions referred by various organs and agencies of the United Nations. 

Apart from this, there is no permanent representative of any member state in the International Court of Justice. The decision of the International Court of Justic is final and binding whereas the opinion given on advisory matters is not binding.

Let us introduce you to the shortcomings of the International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justic is criticized for its jurisdiction .It does not have jurisdiction to deal with a person accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity as it is not a criminal court. Its mandated jurisdiction is limited to cases where both the parties have agreed to present their decision. Furthermore the membership of the UN and the ICJ does not give this court automatic jurisdiction over the member states. Rather it is the consent of each state exercising jurisdiction. 

No organization, private enterprise and individual may take its cases to the International Court of Justic or appeal the decision of a national Supreme Court to the International Court of Justic.

The International Criminal Court like the existing International Thematic Court is not under the International Court of Justic.

Unlike the ICJ, the ICC operates independently of the United Nations. This makes it difficult for courts to have effective and collective jurisdiction.  The International Court of Justic does not fully meet the separation of powers principle, as if a permanent member of the UNSC vetoed a decision passed to the International Court of Justic, it cannot be enforced 

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