Statute of the International Court of Justice


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN), established by the Charter of the United Nations. The statute governing the ICJ is called the “Statute of the International Court of Justice.” It outlines the structure, functions, and jurisdiction of the court. The current version of the statute was adopted in 1945 and has been amended on a few occasions since then.

Here are some key features of the Statute of the International Court of Justice:

  1. Composition: The ICJ consists of 15 judges who are elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. These judges serve a term of nine years and are chosen to represent a balance of different legal systems around the world.
  2. Jurisdiction: The ICJ has two types of jurisdiction: contentious jurisdiction and advisory jurisdiction. Under contentious jurisdiction, the court hears disputes between states that voluntarily submit to its jurisdiction. The court’s advisory jurisdiction allows it to provide non-binding opinions on legal questions referred to it by UN organs or specialized agencies.
  3. Parties to the Court: Only states can be parties to cases before the ICJ. This means that individuals, non-state entities, or international organizations cannot directly bring cases before the court. However, states can represent the interests of their nationals or organizations.
  4. Adjudication: The ICJ functions as a court of law, applying international law to resolve disputes. It takes into account treaties, customary international law, general principles of law, and judicial decisions of other international courts as sources of law.
  5. Compliance: The ICJ has no enforcement powers of its own, and its judgments depend on the voluntary compliance of the parties involved. However, the UN Security Council can take action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to enforce the court’s decisions in certain cases.
  6. Amendments: The Statute of the International Court of Justice can be amended by a two-thirds majority of the UN General Assembly and a two-thirds majority of the ICJ’s member states. Amendments must be ratified by two-thirds of the UN member states, including all the permanent members of the Security Council.

It’s important to note that while I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, there may have been amendments or changes to the ICJ’s statute since my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. For the most current and precise details, it is recommended to refer to the official sources, including the UN’s website or the ICJ’s official documents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts