The international court of justice
Also known as the world court, the international court of justice is a judicial organ of the United Nations that makes rulings on disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions raised by the organs of the United Nations and agencies. It was formed after the Second World War replacing the then international court known as the Permanent Court of International justice. The international court of justice comprises of 15 judges. Five from western countries, three from the African continent, one Arab, two from the Eastern Europe States and three from Asian states. It also comprises of two judges from Latin America and the Caribbean states and one from Anglophone and Francophone common and civil law.
The judges make decisions based on a statute that was inherited from the Permanent Court of International Justice. It acts as a constitution. Judges are not supposed to take on roles that conflict with their position at the International Court of Justice. However, there have been several issues raised questioning this ideology. For instance, during the case between the US and Nicaragua, the US was cautious about raising sensitive information because some of the judges were working for the Soviet Union. No two judges are elected from one state. They are selected based on their moral standards and their level of understanding of international law.
Article 26-29 of the statute allows the formation of chambers that comprise of three or four judges. There are two types of chambers; ad hoc and special chamber. In 1993, a special chamber was formed to deal with environmental issues. Ad hoc chambers are formed regularly, for instance, during the Gulf of Maine case between Canada and the US. It was established to make rulings on the case. The parties threatened to quit if the court did not select the judges they accept.
In some cases the judges can be more than 15, more judges are involved to encourage countries to submit cases to the international court of justice. The judges make the decisions, if they do not agree on one decision, voting is done. The international court of judges rules on cases of nations that are member states of the United Nations. However, the statute also allows the court to make rulings on disputes of other states that do not belong to the UN. After the International court of justice has made a ruling. The United Nations Security Council enforces the decision. However, it is only allowed to use coercion in case the situation causes threats to international peace.
Rosenne, Shabtai. The law and practice of the International Court, 1920-1996. Brill Nijhoff, 1997.
Schulte, Constanze. Compliance with decisions of the International Court of Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Schulte, Constanze. Compliance with decisions of the International Court of Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. ~~~For this or similar assignment papers~~~
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