International Court of Justice (ICJ)

International Court of Justice (ICJ):
  • It is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations
  • Established in 1945
  • It is seated in The Hague, The Netherlands
    Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).
  • The court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly
  • Judge term : 9 years
  • Number of Judges : 15
  • Official Languages : English and French.
  • ICJ only has jurisdiction over any dispute, if the both concerned parties (states) submit to the jurisdiction of ICJ
This can be done in two ways –
  • Voluntary Jurisdiction – Under this, a state accepts jurisdiction of ICJ for a particular case or class of cases.
  • Compulsory Jurisdiction – Under this, the jurisdiction of ICJ is  mandated by a treaty or a pre-existing agreement
    India is a party to ICJ
  • Its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned.
  • Four Indian judges have served ICJ. Currently, Justice Dalveer Bhandari is serving ICJ.
Why in news?
  • Ukraine moved to ICJ over Russian invasion under Genocide Convention.
How judges are elected?
  • In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies (UNSC and UNGA).
  • Judges will be elected from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or are jurisconsults of recognised competence in international law.
  • Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same nationality. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court.
  • A third of the court is elected every three years.
  • Judges are eligible for re-election.

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