International Court of Justice

Introduction

International Court of Justice - Research Guide International Law

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.

New titles

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. Sovranità degli stati versus sovranità dei diritti: sfere di immunità e giustizia internazionale
Sovranità degli stati versus sovranità dei diritti: sfere di immunità e giustizia internazionale / di Tommaso Giupponi. - Bologna : Filodiritto Editore. - Page 487-500 In: Diritto costituzionale transnazionale : atti del Seminario internazionale di studi, Bologna, 6 marzo 2012 / a cura di Luca Mezzetti e Calogero Pizzolo, ISBN 9788895922386: (2013), Page 487-500. - 2013
Keywords: Italy, United Nations, International Court of Justice, Cases, Sovereignty, Sovereign immunities, International criminal law, Constitutions, Human rights,

 

Online publications 2015

Davis, Katherine 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 Treaty (NPT) …

Akande, Dapo, and Antonios 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 …

Gogarty, Brendan, and Peter 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 further the rule …

Nesheva, Ralitsa, “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 2005 the …

Russo, Deborah, “The Use of Proportionality in the Recent Case-Law of the ICJ (June 4, 2015). Forthcoming, in Mads Andenas and Giuseppe Bianco (eds.), Proportionality in International Courts: Convergence in Law and Method?, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016; 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 requirement of reasonableness, in …

Bibliography

 Reference works

Books

Articles

Documents and Cases

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles


1. Sovranità degli stati versus sovranità dei diritti: sfere di immunità e giustizia internazionale
Sovranità degli stati versus sovranità dei diritti: sfere di immunità e giustizia internazionale / di Tommaso Giupponi. - Bologna : Filodiritto Editore. - Page 487-500 In: Diritto costituzionale transnazionale : atti del Seminario internazionale di studi, Bologna, 6 marzo 2012 / a cura di Luca Mezzetti e Calogero Pizzolo, ISBN 9788895922386: (2013), Page 487-500. - 2013
Keywords: Italy, United Nations, International Court of Justice, Cases, Sovereignty, Sovereign immunities, International criminal law, Constitutions, Human rights,

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  • Cançado Trindade, A.A., The Construction of a Humanized International Law: A Collection of Individual Opinions (1991-2013), Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015. Showcase item

    Cançado Trindade, A.A., The construction of a humanized international law : a collection of individual opinions (1991-2013), Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015

    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 Antônio A. Cançado 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 Antônio A. Cançado 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 Cançado Trindade at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The great achievement of Judge Cançado Trindade at the International Court of Justice has been to draw attention to this dimension and further its development in the case-law.

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  • Milanović, M. and M. Wood (eds.), The Law and Politics of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015. Showcase item

    Milanović, M. and M. Wood (eds.), The law and politics of the Kosovo advisory opinion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015

    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.

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  • Wellens, K., Negotiations in the Case Law of the International Court of Justice : A Functional Analysis, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014.

    Wellens, K., Negotiations in the Case Law of the International Court of Justice : a Functional Analysis, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014.

    This book examines the multifunctional role negotiations play in the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice. Prior negotiations may be necessary to bring to the surface and clarify the legal aspects of a dispute before its submission to the ICJ. Negotiations may play a potential and parallel role during the course of the proceedings; results of negotiations may find their way into the judicial reasoning and may even form part of the basis of the judicial settlement. The Court’s judgment may require further negotiations for its implementation. A failure of this process may bring the parties back before the Court. This volume presents a detailed and critical examination of the case law of the ICJ through the prism of the functional interaction between negotiation and judicial settlement of disputes. In cases where legal interests of third States are involved this functional interaction becomes even more complex. The focus is not on the merits of each individual case, but on the Court’s contribution and clarification of this functional interplay.

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  • Gaja, G. and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.) Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.

    Gaja, G. and J. Grote Stoutenburg (eds.) Enhancing the Rule of Law through the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.

    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”.

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  • Hernández, G.I., The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Hernández, G.I., The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    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.

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  • Kolb, R. The Elgar companion to the International Court of Justice, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014

    Kolb, R. The Elgar companion to the International Court of Justice, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014

    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.

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Database

Blogs

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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See also

More Research guides on Settlement of International Disputes

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