What is the International Court of Justice?

Explore International Court of Justice's authority, judges' selection, case types, and enforcement of decisions for peace and justice.

What is the International Court of Justice?
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) serves as the principal judicial entity of the United Nations.

Established in 1945 and headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICJ resolves legal disputes between states and provides advisory opinions on legal matters referred by the UN General Assembly, Security Council, and specialized agencies.

The Authority of the ICJ

The Court holds jurisdiction in settling state disputes, and its opinions and rulings carry legal weight.

Parties involved in contentious cases are obligated to accept its decisions.

Selection of Judges

Comprising 15 judges with 9-year terms, the Court elects five judges every 3 years to ensure continuity.

To promote diverse perspectives, no two judges can represent the same country.

Types of Cases at ICJ

The ICJ addresses international cases such as territorial disputes, sovereignty claims, human rights violations, and issues concerning international treaties and conventions.

However, it does not preside over criminal cases or address individuals directly.

Enforcement of ICJ Decisions

Although the Court's decisions are binding, there is no global enforcement authority.

Compliance falls to the involved states.

If a country or organization fails to adhere to the Court's ruling, the matter may return to the UN Security Council for further action.

The International Court of Justice plays a pivotal role in nurturing international peace and justice.

Its decisions are instrumental in shaping the global legal landscape.