The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice.
Composition of ICJ
Composition of ICJ
- The ICJ is composed of fifteen judges elected to nine year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- Elections are staggered with five judges elected every three years, in order to ensure continuity within the court.
- No two may be nationals of the same country.
- The membership of the Court is supposed to represent the "main forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems of the world". Essentially, this has meant common law, civil law and socialist law (now post-communist law).
- Since its creation, four of the five permanent members of the Security Council (France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have always had a judge on the Court.
- All judges should be "elected regardless of their nationality among persons of high moral character", who are either qualified for the highest judicial office in their home states or known as lawyers with sufficient competence in international law.
- Should a judge die in office, the practice has generally been to elect a judge of the same nationality to complete the term.
- Judges of the ICJ are not able to hold any other post, nor act as counsel.
- Judges may deliver joint judgments or give their own separate opinions. Decisions and Advisory Opinions are by majority and, in the event of an equal division, the President's vote becomes decisive. Judges may also deliver separate dissenting opinions. 1
- Justice Dalveer Bhandari of India was elected to be a judge in the ICJ in April 2012.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), is an international organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands. The court was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest institution for international dispute resolution.
The PCA is not a “court in the conventional understanding of that term, but an administrative organization with the object of having permanent and readily available means to serve as the registry for purposes of international arbitration and other related procedures, including commissions of enquiry and conciliation.”It is a permanent framework available to assist temporary arbitral tribunals or commissions. The judges or abitrators that hear cases are officially called "Members" of the Court. 2