International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice was established in 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations as the principal judicial organ (Art. 7, UN Charter). Its role in the fulfillment of the purposes of the UN is “to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace” (Art. 1, UN Charter). To this end it settles legal disputes submitted to it by States (contentious procedure) and gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory procedure). It functions in accordance with its Statute which forms an integral part of the Charter (Art. 92, UN Charter). The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges who are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council for a nine year term of office. It has its seat in the Peace Palace at The Hague, The Netherlands.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the International Court of Justice. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's classification index codes 189c. International Court of Justice and 189d. Activities of the International Court of Justice and subject heading (keyword) International Court of Justice are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
Online publications 2015/2016
Tzanakopoulos, A., and A. Ventouratou, “Nicaragua in the International Court of Justice and the Law of Treaties” (April 29, 2016), in E. Sobenes and B. Samson (eds.), Nicaragua before the International Court of Justice: Impacts on international Law, Forthcoming.
Abstract: This essay focuses on two main aspects: the first is the relationship between various principles and (or) maxims of interpretation and the customary rules of interpretation reflected in Articles 31-32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The second is the relationship between treaty and ...
Welch, R. (et al.), "Assessing Bias in the International Court of Justice." (April 2016).
Abstract: As with most courts, there is an assumption that the ICJ acts in a fair and impartial manner and decides cases based on international law. Our project plans to test this assumption to determine whether the Court is truly impartial, or whether it decides cases on some other factor or factors. Building on ...
Powell, E.J. "Islamic Law States and the Authority of the International Court of Justice: Territorial Sovereignty and Diplomatic Immunity" (March 2, 2016), Law and Contemporary Problems, 79 (2016), No. 1, pp. 209-236.
Abstract: This article considers Islamic law states (ILS) as a least likely case for ICJ authority. The Court, already constrained by its specific jurisdictional design and choice of forum options, faces additional hurdles in building up its authority vis-à-vis ILS. Why and under what conditions are ILS willing to accept ...
Cohen, M., “On the Linguistic Design of Multinational Courts: The French Capture” (February 19, 2016), International Journal of Constitutional Law, 14 (2016).
Abstract: This article discusses the importance of language in the institutional design of European and international courts, which I refer to as “linguistic design.” What is at stake in the choice of a court’s official or working language? Picking a language has far-reaching consequences on a court’s composition and ...
Tabak, S., “Aspiring States” (January 14, 2016), European Society of International Law (ESIL) 2015 Research Forum (Florence).
Abstract: In a procedural shift out of character with the ICJ’s state-centric approach to international law, in two recent advisory opinions the Court has allowed non-state actors procedural access through oral and written submissions. With this paper I question why the Court has broken with previous procedure in ...
Kassoti, E, “Fragmentation and Inter-Judicial Dialogue: The CJEU and the ICJ at the Interface”, European Journal of Legal Studies, 8 (Winter 2015), No. 2, pp. 21-49.
Abstract: Focusing on the judicial aspect of the fragmentation debate, this article examines the extent to which the CJEU is willing to engage with external sources by directly citing the jurisprudence of the ICJ in cases involving questions of public international law. In its practice, the Court shows a high degree of ...
Lando, M., “Compliance with Provisional Measures Indicated by the International Court of Justice”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, (December 29, 2015), pp. 34.
Abstract: Provisional measures are an important instrument in the settlement of international disputes. However, little interest has been shown with regard to compliance with such measures. Due to the structure of the international community, provisional measures cannot be enforced, but only complied ...
Young, M.A., and S.R. Sullivan, “Evolution Through the Duty to Cooperate: Implications of the Whaling Case at the International Court of Justice” (December 21, 2015), Melbourne Journal of International Law, 16 (2015), No. 2.
Abstract: International courts and tribunals face a special challenge when the treaty underlying a dispute was agreed in a distant past. How does (and should) the judicial branch allow for an evolution of international law that is responsive to major legal and social changes whilst remaining faithful to the ...
International Court of Justice Press Release No. 2015/32 (December 16, 2015), (a) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), and (b) Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica).
Abstract: (a) The Court finds that Nicaragua has violated Costa Rica's territorial sovereignty and navigational rights, as well as the Court's Order of 8 March 2011 indicating provisional measures, but that it did not breach procedural or substantive environmental obligations through its dredging of the San Juan River, (b) The Court finds that Costa Rica has violated its obligation to carry out an environmental impact assessment concerning the construction of Route 1856, but that it did not breach substantive environmental ...
Madsen, M.R., “The New Sociology of International Courts” (December 15, 2015), ESIL Reflections, 4, No. 10.
Abstract: The author argues that a new generation of empirical sociology of international law has emerged, in particular, with respect to the study of international courts (IC) which reposes fundamental questions related to notions of institutions, the legitimacy of ICs and, particularly, their place in contemporary ...
Giorgetti, C., “The Challenge and Recusal of Judges of the International Court of Justice” (December 9, 2015), in ibid (ed.), Challenges and Recusals of Judges and Arbitrators in International Courts and Tribunals, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 3-33.
Abstract: The rules and mechanisms to challenge and recuse a judge of the International Court of Justice are unique and pertain to the control mechanisms proper to permanent international dispute resolution bodies, characterized by a plurality of representative, elected judges. Indeed, the Statute of the ICJ ...
Tomka, H.E. P., and V.-J. Proulx, “The Evidentiary Practice of the World Court" (November 20, 2015), in J.C. Sainz-Borgo (ed), Liber Amicorum Gudmundur Eiriksson, San José, University for Peace Press, 2016, Forthcoming.
Abstract: In this chapter, we canvass some key aspects of the evidentiary practice of the World Court, with the emphasis on recent developments. Our ambition is to provide insight into both the jurisprudential pronouncements of the Court on important evidentiary matters, and its institutional culture and practice …
“David V. Goliath – The Republic of Marshall Islands’ Day in Court” (November 2, 2015), Current Affairs, Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Abstract: The Republic of Marshall Islands (‘RMI’) is an island nation, located in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of 68,840 people. On the 24th April 2014, the RMI filed a dispute before the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’), against 9 states, namely, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, India ...
Bedell, J., "On Thin Ice: Will the International Court of Justice’s Ruling in Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening End Japan’s Lethal Whaling in the Antarctic?" (October 7, 2015), Columbia Journal of Environmental law, 41 (2015).
Abstract: In March 2014, the International Court of Justice declared that Japan’s whaling activity in the Antarctic did not satisfy the scientific exemption to a global whaling moratorium and ordered Japan to cease its current operations. Japan complied with the ICJ’s ruling and ended its expedition for that year ...
Bergkamp, L., “Adjudicating Scientific Disputes in Climate Science: The Limits of Judicial Competence and the Risks of Taking Sides” (October 4, 2015), Hunton and Williams, Working Paper.
Abstract: Following a judgment by a Dutch court that the government must step up the fight against climate change, a prominent international lawyer recently proposed that the International Court of Justice rule on climate science so that the scientific disputes in this area can be settled. The intent is to pave the way for ...
“Is the International Court of Justice an Option for Ukraine in Light of the Conflict with Russia?” (October 1, 2015), Current Affairs, Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Abstract: On 4 July 2015, the Ukraine’s State Portal of Public Procurement issued Report no. 152973/5 “On results of negotiating public procurement procedure”, according to which Ukraine hired International Law Firm «Covington & Burling LLP» to work on the “protection of rights and interests of Ukraine in the ...
Tzeng, P., “Proving Genocide: The High Standards of the International Court of Justice”, (September 30, 2015), Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2015, Recent Developments.
Abstract: On February 3, 2015, the International Court of Justice rendered a final judgment in Croatian Genocide. As in Bosnian Genocide, the Court failed to justify the high standards of proof it applied to proving the dolus specialis of genocide.
Olorundami, F., “The ICJ and Its Lip Service to the Non-Priority Status of the Equidistance Method of Delimitation” (September 13, 2015), Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, 14 (2015), No. 1.
Abstract: Since the first maritime boundary delimitation dispute before the International Court of Justice(ICJ) in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases in 1969 to the most recent maritime delimitation judgment in Maritime Dispute (Peru v Chile), the Court has maintained that the equidistance method of delimitation ...
Dordeska, M., "The Process of International Law-Making: The Relationship between the International Court of Justice and the International Law Commission", The George University Law School (July, 2015).
Abstract: By identifying certain norms as custom without referring to the traditional evidence of State practice and opinio juris, international courts and tribunals have also contributed to the formation of customary international law. This paper presents an analysis of how the ICJ in particular, contributes to ...
Russo, D., “The Use of Proportionality in the Recent Case-Law of the ICJ” (June 4, 2015), in M. Andenas and G. Bianco (eds.), Proportionality in International Courts: Convergence in Law and Method?, Cambridge University Press, 2016 Forthcoming.; University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015-15.
Abstract: The paper explores the controversial role of proportionality as a method of judicial review of the actions of States in the recent case-law of the International Court of Justice. It moves from the hypothesis that the Court is improving the meaning and function of the requirement of reasonableness, in certain ...
Aspremont, J., “The International Court of Justice and Tacit Conventionality”, Questions of International Law = Questioni di diritto internazionale, 1 (2015), June, pp. 3-17.
Abstract: As is well-known, oral promises came to be accepted as a possible source of legal contents by the PCIJ in its decision in the famous Eastern Greenland case. This position was later endorsed by the International Court of Justice. The recognition of the possibility to generate legal normativity through ...
Nesheva, R., "100 Years of International Justice: Time to Consider a Reform of the International Court of Justice" (June 3, 2015), IALS Student Law Review, 2 (2015), No. 2, pp. 12-25.
Abstract: The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and as such it shall preserve the peace-making process and the dispute resolution in accordance with its mandate. However, it is left outside of the discussion for potential reform which is on the agenda of the United Nations for a long time. In ...
Gogarty, B., and P. Lawrence, “The ICJ Whaling Case: Science, Transparency and the Rule of Law” (May 31, 2015), Journal of Law, Information & Science, 23 (2014-2015), No. 2.
Abstract: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Whaling Case was greeted by the popular press, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, as a win for "good science" as opposed to "bogus science". However, in this article we argue that a closer analysis of the decision reveals that the ICJ missed an opportunity to ...
Scovazzi, T., “Between Law and Science: Some Considerations Inspired by the Whaling in the Antarctic Judgment”, Questions of International Law = Questioni di diritto internazionale, 1 (2015), April, pp. 13-30.
Abstract: The judgment rendered on 31 March 2014 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Whaling in the Antarctic case raises the issue of scientific or technical matters in the proceedings before the ICJ. Usually guidance on such issues is given by experts. They can be appointed by the Court and, if so,...
Mbengue, M.M., “Between Law and Science: A Commentary on the Whaling in the Antarctic Case”, Questions of International Law = Questioni di diritto internazionale, 1 (2015), April, pp. 3-12.
Abstract: In this case, complex scientific issues were intertwined with legal issues. In such situations, especially when deciding mixed questions of law and fact, it is not easy to determine the respective roles of the Court and of the experts appointed either by the parties or by the Court. It is equally important to ...
Akande, D., and A. Tzanakopoulos, “The International Court of Justice and the Concept of Aggression” (March 31, 2015). Forthcoming, in Claus Kreß and Stefan Barriga (eds.), The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 27/2015.
Abstract: This paper reviews the contribution of the ICJ in defining the concept of aggression against the background of the Kampala Amendments to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It argues that the ICJ, while not contributing directly to the elaboration of the concept of aggression, has ...
Davis, K. M., “Hurting More than Helping: How the Marshall Islands' Seeming Bravery Against Major Powers Only Stands to Maim the Legitimacy of the World Court” (March 11, 2015), Minnesota Journal of International Law, 25 (2015).
Abstract: In April 2014, the Marshall Islands filed ten suits against the nine nuclear weapons states: one against each of the states at the ICJ, and one against the United States in a federal district court. Each suit essentially argued that the nuclear weapons states were in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation ...
ICJ on Twitter Click here!
- 06-07-2016: Visit of the President of Greece, H.E. Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, to the #ICJ https://t.co/glsGNxrBbo https://t.co/OiIs2Mddb0
- 06-07-2016: President of Greece, H.E. Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, meets with the members of the #ICJ https://t.co/WrY5x0uOUB https://t.co/6LfpTM1Ye3
- 20-04-2016: LIVE today at 0955 (TheHague) #ICJ70 Celebration with King of Netherlands and Mr Ban Ki-moon https://t.co/f4uofp21FB https://t.co/ZNUhMzQ7UN
- 18-04-2016: PRESS RELEASE: 70th anniversary of the ICJ #ICJ70. Here is the programme for 20 April 2016 https://t.co/bIINPD5HWL https://t.co/gGVwa1Qbdo
The new titles section has been moved to a separate page.
- Hernández, G.I., The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Kolb, R., The International Court of Justice, Oxford, Hart, 2013.
- Kolb, R. The Elgar Companion to the International Court of Justice, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014.
- Quintana, J.J., Litigation at the International Court of Justice: Practice and Procedure, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.
- Aljaghoub, M.M., The Advisory Function of the International Court of Justice 1946-2005, Berlin, Springer, 2006.
- Amr, M.S.M., The Role of the International Court of Justice as the Principal Judicial Organ of the United Nations, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2003.
- Fitzmaurice, G., The Law and Procedure of the International Court of Justice, Cambridge, Grotius, 1986.
- Forlati, S, International Court of Justice: An Arbitral Tribunal or a Judicial Body?, Heidelberg, Springer, 2014.
- Gaja, G. and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.), Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill, 2014.
- He, Z., The ICJ's Practice on Provisional Measures, Frankfurt, Lang, 2010.
- Lauterpacht, H., The Development of International Law by the International Court, Cambridge, Grotius Publications Limited, 1982.
- Milanović, M., and M. Wood (eds.), The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Riddell, A. and B. Plant, Evidence before the International Court of Justice, London, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2009.
- Rosenne, S. (et al.) (eds.), Rosenne's the World Court: What it is and How it Works, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2003.
- Ruiter, D. de (ed.), The International Court of Justice: Facts and Documents about the History and Work of the Court, The Hague, International Courts Association, 2011.
- Schulte, C., Compliance with Decisions of the International Court of Justice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Wehberg, H, The Problem of an International Court of Justice (transl. by C.G. Fenwick), Oxford, Clarendon, 1918 (2nd printing, Clark, NJ, The Lawbook Exchange, 2010).
- Weisburd, A.M., Failings of the International Court of Justice, New York, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Wellens, K., Negotiations in the Case Law of the International Court of Justice: A Functional Analysis, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014.
- Zimmermann, A., C. Tomuschat and K. Oellers-Frahm (eds.), The Statute of the International Court of Justice: A Commentary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Bjorge, E., “The International Court of Justice's Methodology of Law Ascertainment and Comparative Law”, in M. Andenas and D. Fairgrieve (eds.), Courts and Comparative Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 213-231.
- Bordin, F.L., “Procedural Developments at the International Court of Justice”, Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 14 (2015), No. 2, pp. 344-364.
- Couvreur, P., “The International Court of Justice”, in G. De Baere and J. Wouters (eds.), The Contribution of International and Supranational Courts to the Rule of Law, Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, pp. 85-126.
- De Brabandere, E., “The Use of Precedent and External Case Law by the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea”, Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 15 (2016), No. 1, pp. 24-55.
- Dinge, L, “A Legal Journey through the UN, Academia, and the ICJ: Conversations with Dame Rosalyn Higgins DBE, JSD, FBA, QC”, Legal Information Management, 15 (2015), No. 2, pp. 86-94.
- Dothan, S., “How International Courts Enhance Their Legitimacy”, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 14 (2013), No. 2, pp. 455-478. [PDF]
- Gaja, G., “Preventing Conflicts between the Court's Orders on Provisional Measures and Security Council Resolutions”, in G. Gaja and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.), Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill, 2014, pp. 87-92.
- Gaja, G., “Requesting the ICJ to Revoke or Modify Provisional Measures”, Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 14 (2015), No. 1, pp. 1-6.
- Giorgetti, G., “The Challenge and Recusal of Judges of the International Court of Justice”, in ibid (ed.), Challenges and Recusals of Judges and Arbitrators in International Courts and Tribunals, Brill/Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 3-33. [PDF]
- Greenwood, C., “Judicial Integrity and the Advisory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice”, in G. Gaja and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.), Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill, 2014, pp. 63-73.
- Krari-Lahya, C, “Cooperation and Competition between the International Court of Justice and the Security Council”, in G. Gaja and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.), Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill, 2014, pp. 47-61. [PDF]
- Kulick, A., “Article 60 ICJ Statute, Interpretation Proceedings, and the Competing Concepts of Res Judicata”, Leiden Journal of International Law, 28 (2015), No. 1, pp. 73-89.
- Lando, M., “Compliance with Provisional Measures Indicated by the International Court of Justice”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, December 29, 2015, pp. 34. [PDF]
- Liebelt, F., "Third State Intervention before the International Court of Justice in International Environmental Law Cases", LLM Seminar Paper, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, 2013. [PDF]
- Marotti, L, “The International Court of Justice Role in Influencing the Approach of Other Courts on Fundamental Procedural Matters”, in M. Arcari and L. Balmond (eds.), Judicial Dialogue in the International Legal Order: Between Pluralism and Legal Certainty, Napoli, Editoriale Scientifica, 2014, pp. 7-27.
- Oellers-Frahm, K., “Provisional Measures in Interpretation Proceedings - A New Way to extend the Court's Jurisdiction?: The Practice of the Court in the Avena and Temple of Preah Vihear Cases, in C. Chernor Jalloh and O. Elias (eds.), Shielding Humanity: Essays in International Law in Honour of Judge Abdul G. Koroma, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 61-84.
- Peat, D., “The Use of Court-Appointed Experts by the International Court of Justice”, British Yearbook of International Law, 84 (2013), pp. 271-303.
- Rodley, N.S., “The International Court of Justice and Human Rights Treaty Bodies”, in J.A. Green and C.P.M. Waters (eds.), Adjudicating International Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Sandy Ghandhi, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 12-39.
- Rosenne, S., “The Law and Practice of the International Court of Justice: Introduction”, in J. Weiler and A.T. Nissel (eds.), International Law, London, Routledge, 2011, pp.289-322.
- Sloan, J., and C.J. Tams, “The Development of International Law by the International Court of Justice”, Hague Yearbook of International Law, 26 (2013), pp. 216-238, 2014.
- Talmon, S, “Determining Customary International Law: The ICJ’s Methodology between Induction, Deduction and Assertion”, European Journal of International Law, 26 (2015), No. 2, pp. 417-443.
- Thirlway, H., "The International Court of Justice", in M.D. Evans (ed.), International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 586-614.
- Wellens, K., “The International Court of Justice, back to the Future: Keeping the Dream Alive”, in ibid (ed.), International Law in Silver Perspective: Challenges Ahead, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 137-206.
- Yusuf, A.A., “From Reluctance to Acquiescence: The Evolving Attitude of African States Towards Judicial and Arbitral Settlement of Disputes”, Leiden Journal of International Law, 28 (2015), No. 3, pp 605-621.
Documents and Cases
- Bekker, P.H.F. (ed.), Commentaries on World Court Decisions (1987-1996), The Hague, Nijhoff, 1998.
- Dahlhofff, G. (ed.), International Court of Justice: Digest of Judgments and Advisory Opinions, Canon and Case Law 1946-2012 (2 Vols.), Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 2012.
- Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, World Court Digest (4 Vols.), Berlin, Springer, 1993-2009.
- Patel, B.N. (ed.), The World Court Reference Guide and Case-Law Digest: Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice (2001-2010) and Case-Law Digest (1992-2010) (2nd ed.), Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.
- Rosenne, S. (ed.), Documents on the International Court of Justice, Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff, 1991.
Periodicals, serial publications
- ICJ Annual Reports: Report August 2014-July 2015 [PDF]
- Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals: Table of Contents
The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on the International Court of Justice itself, its activities and its decisions.
1. A Social Justice Theory of Self-Defense at the World Court
Keywords: International Court of Justice, Use of force, Jus ad bellum, Social justice,
2. Don't Mess with Texas: Garcia v. Texas and the Supreme Court's Inversion of the Supremacy Clause (Student Note)
Keywords: United States of America, Texas, International Court of Justice, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [Vienna, 24 April 1963], Supreme court, International law and domestic law, Case-law,
Weisburd, A.M., Failings of the International Court of Justice, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Failings of the International Court of Justice critically examines the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice. Even though the legal instrument that establishes the Court provides that its judgments have no formal precedential value, those judgments are treated as authoritative by international lawyers throughout the world. In this book, A. Mark Weisburd argues that the Court's decisions are, in a large minority of cases, poorly reasoned and doubtful as a matter of law, and therefore ought not to be accorded the deference they receive. The book seeks to demonstrate its thesis by a careful review of the Court's errors. It begins with an examination of the law that created and empowered the Court. It then describes the body of law upon which the Court was intended to base its decisions, and the mistakes in the arguments supporting the Court's drawing legal rules from other sources. The book goes on to analyze in detail cases in which the Court has made serious legal errors, first addressing procedural errors, then turning to mistakes in the application of substantive international law. The book closes with a quantitative summing up of the Court's performance, and a tentative explanation for its relatively disappointing record.
Johns, L., Strengthening International Courts: The Hidden Costs of Legalization, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
As all manner of commerce becomes increasingly global, states must establish laws to protect property rights, human rights, and national security. In many cases, states delegate authority to resolve disputes regarding these laws to an independent court, whose power depends upon its ability to enforce its rulings.
Examining detailed case studies of the International Court of Justice and the transition from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to the World Trade Organization, Leslie Johns finds that a court’s design has nuanced and mixed effects on international cooperation. A strong court is ideal when laws are precise and the court is nested within a political structure like the European Union. Strong courts encourage litigation but make states more likely to comply with agreements when compliance is easy and withdraw from agreements when it is difficult. A weak court is optimal when law is imprecise and states can easily exit agreements with minimal political or economic repercussions. Johns concludes the book with recommendations for promoting cooperation by creating more precise international laws and increasing both delegation and obligation to international courts.
Quintana, J.J., Litigation at the International Court of Justice: Practice and Procedure, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Litigation at the International Court of Justice provides a systematic guide to questions of procedure arising when States come before the International Court of Justice to take part in contentious litigation. Quintana's approach is primarily empirical and emphasis is put on examples derived from actual practice. This book is mainly intended to help practitioners and advisors to governments engaged in actual cases and deliberately avoids theoretical discussions, favoring a pragmatic stance that is focused not so much on what authors have to say on any given topic concerning procedure, but rather on presenting, directly “from the Court’s mouth,” as it were, what ICJ judges actually have done and said over the last ninety years concerning such questions.
Cancado Trindade, A.A., The Construction of a Humanized International Law: A Collection of Individual Opinions (1991-2013), Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This volume is the sixth in the series, The Judges, which collects and synthesizes the opinions of leading international judges of the contemporary era who have contributed significantly to the progressive development of international law. The current volume (Book 2) contains a selection of the opinions of Judge Antonio A. Cancado Trindade, former Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and since 2008 a Judge of the International Court of Justice. Many dwell on aspects of the increased humanization of international law. Elevating this body of norms, which have traditionally focused on purely inter-State relations, to a level where individuals and their suffering become a primary concern, is without doubt Antonio A. Cancado Trindade's major doctrinal contribution. Revisiting the traditional conceptions of compulsory jurisdiction, provisional measures, ‘locus standi’ and the international legal personality of the human person, limitations of access to justice in the light of ‘jus cogens’, amnesty laws and principles of reparation are but a few examples of the themes examined in the learned Opinions expressed by Judge Cancado Trindade at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The great achievement of Judge Cancado Trindade at the International Court of Justice has been to draw attention to this dimension and further its development in the case-law.
Milanovic, M. and M. Wood (eds.), The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This volume is an edited collection of essays on various aspects of the 2010 Kosovo Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. The main theme of the book is the interplay between law and politics regarding Kosovo's independence generally and the advisory opinion specifically. How and why did the Court become the battleground in which Kosovo's independence was to be fought out (or not)? How and why did political arguments in favour of Kosovo's independence (e.g. that Kosovo was a unique, sui generis case which set no precedent for other secessionist territories) change in the formal, legal setting of advisory proceedings before the Court? How and why did states supporting either Kosovo or Serbia choose to frame their arguments? How did the Court perceive them? What did the Court want to achieve, and did it succeed in doing so? And how was the opinion received, and what broader implications did it have so far? These are the questions that the book hopes to shed some light on. To do so, the editors assembled a stellar cast of contributors, many of whom acted as counsel or advisors in the case, as well a number of eminent scholars of politics and international relations whose pieces further enrich the book and give it an interdisciplinary angle. The book thus tells the story of the case, places it within its broader political context, and so attempts to advance our understanding of how such cases are initiated, litigated and decided, and what broader purposes they may or may not serve.
Forlati, S, International Court of Justice: An Arbitral Tribunal or a Judicial Body?, Heidelberg, Springer, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and epitomizes the very notion of international judicial institution. Yet, it decides inter-State disputes only with the parties' consent. This makes it more similar to international arbitral tribunals than other international courts. However, the permanent nature of the Court, the predetermination of procedural rules by the Statute and the Rules of Court, the public character of proceedings, the opportunity for third States to intervene in a case under Articles 62 and 63 of the Statute and the Court's role as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations mark a structural difference between the ICJ and non-institutionalized international arbitral tribunals. This book analyses if and to what extent these features have influenced the approach of the ICJ (and of the PCIJ before it) to its own judicial function and have led it to depart from the principles established in international arbitration.
Gaja, G. and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.) Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
What is the current role of the International Court of Justice in contributing to the rule of law in the international community, and which future developments might enable it to have an even greater impact? These questions are explored in Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, edited by Judge Giorgio Gaja and Jenny Grote Stoutenburg, Associate Legal Officer at the Court. Resulting from a conference celebrating the centenary of the Peace Palace in The Hague, the volume brings together contributions from Judges of the Court, eminent scholars and "new voices".
Hernández, G.I., The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book evaluates the concept of the function of law through the prism of the International Court of Justice. It goes beyond a conventional analysis of the Court's case law and applicable law, to consider the compromise between supranational order and state sovereignty that lies at the heart of its institutional design. It argues that this compromise prevents the Court from playing a progressive role in the development of international law. Instead, it influences the international legal order in more subtle ways, in particular, in shaping understanding of the nature or form of the international legal order as a whole. The book concludes that the role of the Court is not to advance some universal conception of international law but rather to decide the cases before it in the best possible way within its institutional limits, while remaining aware of law's deeper theoretical foundations. The book considers three key elements: firstly, it examines the historical aspects of the Court's constitutive Statute, and the manner in which it defines its judicial character. Secondly, it considers the drafting process, the function of a dissenting opinion, and the role of the individual judge, in an attempt to discern insights on the function of the Court. Finally, the book examines the Court's practice in regard to three conceptual issues which assist in understanding the Court's function: its theory of precedent; its definition of the 'international community'; and its theory on the completeness of the international legal order.
Kolb, R. The Elgar companion to the International Court of Justice, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The first in a new series of Companions that offer wide-ranging coverage of a range of International Courts and Tribunals, The Elgar Companion To The International Court Of Justice is a one-stop reference point for those wishing to understand this highly significant and successful court. The Companion offers a bird's eye view of how the ICJ came into being, the general principles on which it was founded, and how it works today. It addresses certain fundamental concepts relating to the functioning of the Court, such as its jurisdiction, and sheds light on its history, the structure of the Court, selected elements of its jurisprudence and its procedure, and its role in the wider world. The Companion gives a human flavour to the institution through the portraits of some of the great figures that featured as its judges. The book is written in a simple and understandable manner that may be followed easily by all those interested to know more about the work of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
- Hague Justice Portal: Research files > Courts and tribunals > International Court of Justice.
- International Court of Justice, List of Contentious Cases and Advisory Opinions.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Advisory Opinions, by Hugh Thirlway. (subscription based)
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, International Court of Justice (ICJ), by Shabtai Rosenne. (subscription based)
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, International Court of Justice, Optional Clause, by Malgosia Fitzmaurice. (subscription based)
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, International Court of Justice, Rules and Practice Directions, by Abdul G. Koroma. (subscription based)
- United Nations, Summaries of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice.
- World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII), International Court of Justice, decisions.
International Court of Justice 70th Anniversary!
On 20th April 2016, the International Court of Justice celebrated its seventieth anniversary with a solemn commemorative sitting at the Peace Palace, The Hague. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands attended the official ceremony. Speeches were given by Judge Ronny Abraham, the President of the ICJ, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Antonio Gumende, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly.Read more
UPEACE/Peace Palace Library Lecture: Judge Kenneth Keith and PCA Legal Counsel Judith Levine on International Water Disputes
On Wednesday January 28, 2015, the fourth of a series of Lectures on Peacebuilding in Progress was held at the Academy Building of the Peace Palace, The Hague. The lectures on Peacebuilding are organised by the UPEACE Centre The Hague and the Peace Palace Library.Read more
Bolivia’s Centenarian Maritime Claim before the International Court of Justice
Despite losing its maritime coast, the so-called Littoral Department, after the War of the Pacific, Bolivia has historically maintained, as a state policy, a maritime claim to Chile. The claim asks for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean and its maritime space. The Political Constitution of 2009 established that Bolivia declares its right to access to the sea, and that its objective is to solve the problem peacefully. Therefore, on 24 April 2013, Bolivia instituted proceedings against Chile before the International Court of Justice. A guest blog by Elizabeth Santalla Vargas.Read more
ARGO and the Follow-Up: Iran and the United States
33 Years after the event, Hollywood has turned its attention to an episode that traumatized the United States for months: the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. As the US Embassy falls to a group of Islamist students and militants in support of the Iranian revolution and in retaliation for the USA’s sheltering of the recently deposed Shah, six diplomats slip out and seek sanctuary in the Canadian’s ambassador’s residence. It is up to the CIA’s Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to extract them from the country before they are discovered by the Revolutionary Guards. The plan? Create a fake movie, called Argo, and pretend they’re the crew.Read more
Interview with Prof. Rosalyn Higgins
Interview with Prof. Rosalyn Higgins by Ingrid Kost & Otto Spijkers, on 1 December 2011, at the Peace Palace. We spoke about her time as President of the International Court of Justice, the relationship between the Peace Palace Library and the Court, and the difference between men and women.Read more
Conference about ICJ's judgment in the case between Nicaragua and the USA
In 1986, the International Court of Justice issued its judgment on the merits in a dispute between Nicaragua and the United States of America. Twenty-five years later, members of the legal teams of both Nicaragua and the United States faced each other once again in the Peace Palace.Read more
What Future for Western Sahara ?
There is no prospect of resolving the decades-old conflict between Morocco and the Sahrawi independence movement Polisario on the future of Western Sahara. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, came to this conclusion in a gloomy report, dated 6 April 2010, to the Security Council. Ban Ki-moon reported that “it is clear […]Read more
International Court of Justice sets date for public hearings on Kosovo independence
The Hague, 29 July 2009. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that it will hold public hearings starting on 1 December 2009 on the question of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence early last year. The United Nations and individual Member States will be able to present oral statements and comments at the ICJ’s headquarters […]Read more
Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
On Tuesday 3 February 2009 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine). A public sitting took place at 10 a.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which the President of the Court, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, read the Court’s Judgment.Read more
EU Declaration on Medellín Execution
On Monday, 11 August, the Council of the European Union (EU) issued a declaration on the execution of Mexican national José Medellín in Texas last week.Read more
Texas Executes Mexican National in Defiance of ICJ Rulings
Late Tuesday night, 5 August, the State of Texas executed José Ernesto Medellín, despite a call from the UN Secretary-General urging the United States (US) not to go ahead with the execution and to respect the judgements of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Read more
- European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group: International Courts and Tribunals
- Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guides, UN Documentation: International Court of Justice.
- Germain's International Court of Justice Research Guide
- Harvard Research Guide
- iCourts (Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts)
- International Court of Justice
- International Court of Justice Twitter account: @CIJ_ICJ
- The International Court of Justice Research Guide, by Dana Neacşu
- The Hague Justice Portal