International Court of Justice


International Court of Justice - Research Guide International Law

Updated: July 04, 2019 (Open Access and Bibliography).

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 provides a starting point for research on the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It contains open access publications and legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Books, articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section including links to the PPL Catalogue when available. 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.


Open Access publications, 2016-2019

Karvatska, S. B. "Travaux Préparatoires: Application by the International Court of Justice in Interpretation of International Law” (May 3, 2019), Actual Problems of International Relations, 138 (2019), pp. 144-152.
Abstract: The article is devoted to the analysis of the nature, essence and mechanism of the application of travaux préparatoires by the International Court of Justice in the process of interpreting the international law. It is proven that the interpretational practice of the ICJ shows the extension of the doctrinal ...

Musto, C., and A. Tzanakopoulos, “The International Court of Justice and 'Progressive Causes'” (April 27, 2019), in A. Skordas (ed.), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice, Edward Elgar, Forthcoming; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 35/2019.
Abstract: In this chapter we consider whether the International Court of Justice has developed its judicial policy so as to embrace ‘progressive causes’. We investigate how the Court responds when faced with proceedings involving divisive issues of interest to the international community as a whole and how such ...

Ulfstein, G., “Majority and Individual Opinions: Constructive Dialogue or the Worst of Two Worlds?” (April 10, 2019), in A. Skordas (ed.), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice, Edward Elgar, Forthcoming; PluriCourts Research Paper.
Abstract: This article examines the significance of the ICJ’s rules and practices for the Court’s internal working; its settlement of disputes; clarification and development of international law; and the implications for the independence of the ICJ. It is concluded that the Court’s procedures have not prevented the ...

Odermatt, J., “The International Court of Justice and the Court of Justice of the European Union: Between Fragmentation and Universality of International Law” (April 10, 2019), Forthcoming in A. Skordas (ed.), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice, Edward Elgar.
Abstract: This chapter discusses how the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has used judgments of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its legal reasoning. The CJEU uses ICJ jurisprudence in three main ways: when discussing customary international law, when applying the law of treaties, and when ...

Tzanakopoulos, A., “The Secretary-General's Trust Fund to Assist States in the Settlement of Disputes Through the International Court of Justice” (February 20, 2019), in Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law, H. Ruiz Fabri, (ed.), Forthcoming.
Abstract: In this entry for the Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law, I review the structure and operation, and the practice of the Secretary-General’s Trust Fund to Assist States in the Settlement of Disputes through the ICJ, comparing it to other funds inspired by it, and offering a brief evaluation of the ...

Wagner, J., “The Chagos Request and the Role of the Consent Principle in the ICJ’s Advisory Jurisdiction, Or: What to Do When Opportunity Knocks” (December 28, 2018), Questions of International law (QIL), 55 (2018), pp. 177-189.
Abstract: The first and one of the key questions the Court will be faced with is whether it has the jurisdiction to give the requested opinion or whether there are compelling reasons why the Court should use its discretionary power to decline to exercise jurisdiction. The paper reviews the relevant law ...

Dothan, S., “Ex Aequo et Bono: The Uses of the Road Never Taken” (November 30, 2018), in A. Skordas (ed.), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice, Elgar Publishing, 2019, Forthcoming.
Abstract: The ICJ can decide cases either according to the sources of international law (the law route) or—if the parties so choose—according to justice, "ex aequo et bono" (the justice route). The ICJ has never issued a judgment in the justice route, which indicates that no pair of parties simultaneously agreed to choose ...

Zyberi, G., “The International Court of Justice and the Recognition of States” (November 2018), in G. Visoka (et al.) (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of State Recognition, 2019, Forthcoming.
Abstract: First, this chapter places in context the role of the Court in interpreting different legal aspects concerning the process of State recognition. Then, it proceeds to analysing the following issues: access to the Court for UN non-member States and differences between contentious cases and advisory ...

Chan, K.-C., “The ICJ’s Judgement in Somalia v. Kenya and Its Implications for the Law of the Sea (November 22, 2018), Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, 34 (2018), No. 2, pp.195–204.
Abstract: The main implication of the judgment is that the Court embraced a more objective definition of treaties and identified the significance of context as well as travaux préparatoires in treaty interpretation. By doing so, the Court further established itself as the default adjudicator in law of the sea disputes ...

Becker, M., “The Situation of the Rohingya: Is There a Role for the International Court of Justice" (November 14, 2018), EJIL: Talk! November 2018.
Abstract: This short article considers the prospects for a case against Myanmar at the ICJ, including the jurisdictional basis for bringing such a case under the 1948 Genocide Convention, the challenge of identifying a state to act as the applicant, and the attendant benefits and risks of pursuing such an ...

Park, L., "The International Court and Rule-Making: Finding Effectiveness" (September 20, 2018), University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 39 (2018), No. 4, pp. 1065-1097.
Abstract: This Comment argues that despite the lack of authority to do so, the Court creates international law, either by itself or with the assistance of other international bodies. These new laws and obligations, in turn, inherently affect state behavior. While the majority of the Court's critcisms center on its role as an ...

Kunz, R., “Teaching the World Court Makes a Bad Case: Revisiting the Relationship between Domestic Courts and the ICJ” (July 13, 2018), Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2018-12.
Abstract: Sentenza 238/2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court highlights the important role domestic courts play in international law. It illustrates the ever more autonomous and self-confident stance of domestic courts on the international plane. But the ruling also shows that more engagement with ...

Dothan, S., “The Motivations of Individual Judges and how They Act as a Group” (June 21, 2018), German Law Journal, 19 (2018), Forthcoming; iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 132.
Abstract: States have a significant influence on the selection of judges to international courts. This raises the concern that judges will be biased in favor of their home states, a concern backed by some empirical research. To counter that danger, international courts usually sit in large and diverse panels. Scholars ...

Decisions of the ICJ as Sources of International Law?, Gaetano Morelli Lectures Series, Vol. 2 (June 16, 2018), Rome, International and European Papers Publishing, 2018.
Abstract: This volume deals with the role of the ICJ in the development of international law: an issue that is more and more attracting the attention of scholars and practitioners and touches upon fundamental conceptions about the process of international law-making. This issue is looked at by three authors, from ...

Güzel, M.Ş. “The Chagos Archıpelago Case in The Internatıonal Court of Justıce” (June 01, 2018), Bölgesel Araştırmalar Dergisi, 2 (2018), No. 1, pp.119-151.
Abstract: On 22 June 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations requested the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on 2 questions about the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 by the Lancaster House Undertakings. Even if the case seems to be between the United ...

Liao, Shiping, “Fact-Finding in Non-Appearance Before International Courts and Tribunals” (May 31, 2018).
Abstract: International courts and tribunals frequently face criticism for possible inaccuracy of fact-finding undertaken under conditions of incomplete stakeholder participation and information deficiencies. This paper examines the practice of various courts and tribunals in non-appearance cases and attempts to ...

Wojcikiewicz Almeida, P., “Enhancing ICJ Procedures in Order to Promote Global Public Goods: Overcoming the Prevailing Tension between Bilateralism and Community Interests” (April 16, 2018), European Society of International Law (ESIL): Conference Paper Series, Conference Paper No. 12/2017.
Abstract: By developing international law, international courts - ‘intermediate Global Public Goods (GPG)’- can also contribute to the protection and promotion of final GPG. In legal discourse, the term is often linked but not limited to the idea of erga omnes norms. The ICJ, in particular, is capable of promoting ...

Madsen, M., “Who Rules the World? The Educational Capital of the International Judiciary” (April 6, 2018), Forthcoming in University of California Journal of International, Transnational, and Comparative Law; iCourts Working Paper Series No. 127.
Abstract: While the proliferation of ICs has been described in details, we know surprisingly little about who the actual judges sitting at the helm of contemporary judicialized international law and ruling (on) the world are. What has been termed the “invisible college of international law” remains largely invisible ...

Zyberi, G., “Enforcing Human Rights Through the International Court of Justice: Between Idealism and Realism” (April 1, 2018), in Sir Nigel Rodley and T. Van Ho (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights Institutions and Enforcement, Edward Elgar, 2018, Forthcoming.
Abstract: When considering the institutional enforcement of human rights, the International Court of Justice might not be the first international judicial institution that comes to mind, mainly because of the lack of standing of individuals before this Court and the establishment of other international courts and ...

Venzke, I., “The International Court of Justice During the Battle for International Law (1955-1975): Colonial Imprints and Possibilities for Change” (March 23, 2018), in J. von Bernstorff and P. Dann (eds.), The Battle for International Law in the Decolonization Era , Forthcoming; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2018-08; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2018-02.
Abstract: This chapter investigates the role of the International Court of Justice during the battle for international law, roughly between the years of 1955-1975. It first draws attention to the sceptical voices from newly independent states that saw the Court in its role of reinforcing international law’s colonial ...

Odermatt, J., “Patterns of Avoidance: Political Questions Before International Courts” (March 7, 2018), iCourts Working Paper Series No. 120; International Journal of Law in Context, 14(2), Forthcoming.
Abstract: International courts (ICs) have found themselves dealing with issues that are ‘political’ in nature. This article discusses the techniques of avoidance ICs have developed to navigate such highly political or sensitive issues. The first part discusses some of the key rationales for avoidance. Drawing on the ...

Stoica, V.S. Remedies Before the International Court of Justice: A Systemic Analysis, Doctoral Thesis, University of Geneva, No. D. 949, March 02, 2018. June 2018
Abstract: The scope of the thesis is to determine the manner in which the ICJ interprets and applies the remedies generally accepted by the international community and codified by the International Law Commission in its Articles on State Responsibility. This thesis seeks to answer the following questions: i) Whether the ICJ ...

Dingley, G.L.A. "Playing Musical Chairs with International Justice: Evaluating the Appointment of Judges ad hoc in Proceedings before the International Court of Justice" (February 24, 2018), SOAS Law Journal, 4 (2017), pp. 143-152.
Abstract: Under Article 31 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, an ad hoc judge may be appointed by either of the parties before the Court, where they do not have a judge of their nationality on the Bench. This provision has been heavily criticised as it detracts from the notion of impartiality ...

Gasbarri, L., “Courtspeak: A Method to Read the Argumentative Structure Employed by the International Court of Justice in its Judgments and Advisory Opinions (January 22, 2018), iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 113.
Abstract: It is intuitive that a persuasive judgment has more chances to achieve compliance, to set a precedent and to generally influence the authority of a court. It is more difficult to identify the writing tools that create its rhetorical structure. This paper defines and describes ‘courtspeak’ relying on the elements ...

Ma, X. and Guo, S., “An Empirical Study of the Voting Pattern of Judges of the International Court of Justice (2005-2016)” (December 31, 2017), Erasmus Law Review, 10 (2017), No. 3.
Abstract: The Statute of the International Court of Justice stipulates that judges shall exercise their powers impartially. We question the practicability of this statement and examine whether the voting pattern of the judges are biased. In this light, empirical research is conducted on cases adjudicated from 2005 to 2016 ...

Bonafé, B.I., “Establishing the Existence of a Dispute Before the International Court of Justice: Drawbacks and Implications (December 31, 2017), Questions of International Law, 45 (2017), pp. 3-32.
Abstract: The determination of the existence of the dispute is a crucial aspect according to which the International Court of Justice decides whether it can exercise its contentious jurisdiction. In the recent judgments concerning the Marshall Islands cases, the Court adopted a particularly strict approach in ...

Cohen, M., “The Continuing Impact of French Legal Culture on the International Court of Justice”, in A. Roberts (et al.) (eds.), Comparative International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp.181-205.
Abstract: Little attention has been paid to the influence of domestic legal cultures and languages on the design and internal organization of international courts. Focusing on the ICJ and its predecessor court, the PCIJ, this chapter aims to make the reach of domestic norms, in particular French legal culture, in the ...

McClintock, C.C., “Greasy Luck to Whalers : How the International Whaling Commission and International Court of Justice Can Use Principles of American Administrative and Environmental Law to Keep Japan From Circumventing the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling”, International Immersion Program Papers 53 (2017).
Abstract: This paper examines how the International Whaling Commission and International Court of Justice could use insights from administrative and environmental law to improve and tighten regulation of scientific whaling programs in order to ensure that such programs do not frustrate the purposes of the ...

Bodansky, D., The Role of the International Court of Justice in Addressing Climate Change: Some Preliminary Reflections” (August 2, 2017), Arizona State Law Journal, 49 (2017).
Abstract: What role might international adjudication play in addressing climate change? Thus far, the international climate change regime has developed primarily through negotiations. The essay explores the relationship between adjudication and negotiation, and how an ICJ advisory opinion could work with ...

Yotova, R., “Challenges in the Identification of the ‘General Principles of Law Recognized by Civilized Nations’: The Approach of the International Court (August 1, 2017), University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 38/2017.
Abstract: This article seeks to identify the appropriate methodology for ascertaining the existence of the controversial ‘general principles of law’. It does so by going back to the preparatory works of Article 38(1)(c) of the ICJ Statute and then critically assessing state practice and the case law of the Court on identifying ...

Galindo, G.R.B., “On Form, Substance, and Equality Between States” (June 2, 2017), in AJIL Unbound, 111 (2017), pp. 75-80.
Abstract: The International Court of Justice’s Marshall Islands cases show the omnipresence of the dichotomy between form and substance in the Court's case-law. Commentators and several dissenting judges have stressed that the judgments represent a landmark in the sense that the Court has radically ...

Venzke, I., “Public Interests in the International Court of Justice: A Comparison between Nuclear Arms Race (2016) and South West Africa (1966)” (June 2, 2017), in AJIL Unbound, 111 (2017), pp. 68-74.
Abstract: The Court’s judgment in 1966 was the first, and the one in 2016 the latest, in a series of cases that may be read as instances of public interest litigation - judicial action in support of causes that have not found effective recognition in the political process. When comparing the two judgments, the author ...

Proulx, V.-J., “The Marshall Islands Judgments and Multilateral Disputes at the World Court: Whither Access to International Justice? (June 2, 2017), in AJIL Unbound, 111 (2017), pp. 96-101.
Abstract: The International Court of Justice has mostly emphasized substance over form and developed a pragmatic, flexible, objective, and fact-based analytical approach to jurisdiction. That is until a recent series of judgments veering towards jurisdictional formalism. However, to truly reflect its designation as the ...

Gao, E.Y., “The International Court of Justice and Political Questions: Defending the Rule of Law or a Continuation of Politics by Other Means?”, Thesis Haverford College, 21 April 2017.
Abstract: This paper discusses the role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with the regard to the politically sensitive disputes arising between states. The ICJ no longer rules primarily on the technical disputes concerning the territorial and maritime boundaries or the interpretation of commercial ...

Schiettekatte, S., “Building the Bridge between Science and Law at the International Court of Justice: From Ex Parte to Ex Curia Experts” (May 7, 2017), LLM, Public International Law, Leiden University.
Abstract: The increased need for scientific knowledge in international dispute settlement is a consequence of both scientific and technological developments and the low normativity of the rules developed in response to these developments. Issues relating to the protection of the environment or use of natural ...

Messenger, G., “The Practice of Litigation at the ICJ: The Role of Counsel in the Development of International Law” (April 13, 2017), in M. Hirsch and A. Lang (eds), Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law, Edward Elgar, Forthcoming.
Abstract: This contribution seeks to identify the role of particular actors involved in international law-making – international legal counsel – those individuals involved in providing legal advice and litigating at international tribunals. In particular, the focus will be on the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’). The ...

Gogarty, B., and P. Lawrence, “The ICJ Whaling Case: Missed Opportunity to Advance the Rule of Law in Resolving Science-Related Disputes in Global Commons?” (April 1, 2017), University of Tasmania.
Abstract: A number of treaties relating to the global commons include provisions which rely on science, or scientific research, without defining these terms. Disputes relating to what counts as genuine science and/or the appropriate responses to science are a feature of these regimes. Against this background ...

d'Aspremont, J., “The International Court of Justice and the Irony of System-Design” (March 13, 2017), Journal of International Dispute Settlement, 8 (2017), No. 2, pp. 366-387.
Abstract: The idea that international law constitutes a system is an unsurprisingly popular construction in the legal academy. This article argues that international lawyers have found in the International Court of Justice and its sources-based and rules-based modes of legal reasoning the support and the necessary ...

Cohen, H.G. (et al.), “Introduction: Legitimacy and International Courts” (March 2, 2017), in Legitimacy and International Courts, Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming ; University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-10; Dean Rusk International Center Research Paper No. 2017-04; PluriCourts Research Paper No.17-03.
Abstract, Legitimacy and International Courts examines the underpinnings of legitimacy, or the justification of the authority, of international courts and tribunals. Authors explore what strengthens and weakens the legitimacy of various different international courts, while also considering broader theories of court ...

Grossman, N., “Solomonic Judgments and the International Court of Justice” (February 24, 2017), in forthcoming book on Legitimacy and International Courts, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
Abstract: This Chapter explores the relationship between legitimacy and Solomonic judgments. It suggests that Solomonic decision-making is a potential danger to the normative legitimacy of the ICJ when it exceeds the scope of States’ delegated authority and because it is inherently biased against parties with ...

Niyo, J.J., “An Analysis of the Case Law of the International Court of Justice on the Paradigm Shift in Jurisdiction and its Interaction with Other Critical Principles of International Law” (December 2016), Research Paper.
Abstract: On the international plane, there has been an increasing encroachment on the sanctity of the domaine réservé of states, through the necessity to extend the regular notion of territorial jurisdiction, extraterritorially. In this regard therefore, there has been a paradigm shift in the way that jurisdiction ...

Khan, S.A, “The Issues of Admissibility Pertaining to Circumstantial, Contested, Classified, and Illicitly Obtained Evidence in the International Court of Justice” (November 15, 2016), Research Society of International Law Review, 1 (2017), No. 1, pp. 105-117.
Abstract: The ICJ has generally had a liberal stance towards the admissibility of evidence, however when it comes to evidence which is circumstantial, classified, or illicitly obtained the Court has deviated from this general rule. This article focuses on exactly these issues and tackles some specifics within these issues ...

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” (October 3, 2016), in Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 15 (2016), No. 1, pp. 24-55.; Grotius Centre Working Paper 2016/57-PIL.
Abstract: Despite the absence of any rule on binding precedent in international law generally, references to previous cases of both the Permanent Court of International Justice and the ICJ, and increasingly also case-law from other courts and tribunals, in the decisions of the ICJ and the International Tribunal for the Law ...

Chan, L., “The Dominance of the International Court of Justice in the Creation of Customary International Law” (September 2016), Southampton Student Law Review, 6 (2016), No. 1, pp. 44-71.
Abstract: In this article, the author seeks to challenge the rationale and justification for the ICJ’s undue influence over the identification of customary law. Although the Court is prescribed a subsidiary role for the determination of law in Article 38 (1)(d) of the ICJ Statute, it is apparent that the ICJ’s influence has ...

Alschner, W., and D. Charlotin, “The Growing Complexity of the International Court of Justice's Self-Citation Network: Institutional Achievement or Access-to-Justice Concern?” (August 30, 2016).
Abstract: Using state-of-the-art information extraction, this article identifies 1865 references of the ICJ to its own decisions or that of its predecessor between 1948 and 2013. We find that the ICJ self-citation network becomes increasingly complex. Citations are used more frequently and precedents grow more diverse. ...

Tomka, H.E. P. (et al.), “International and Municipal Law Before the World Court: One or Two Legal Orders?” (July 31, 2016), Polish Yearbook of International Law, 35 (2015), pp. 11-45.
Abstract: This article provides an overview of the approach taken by the International Court of Justice and its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, to questions of municipal law. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical framework, it discusses the conventional position that domestic law is a ...

Meshel, T., “A New Transboundary Fresh Water Dispute Before the International Court of Justice” (July 26, 2016), Water International, 41 (2016), Forthcoming.
Abstract: On 6 June 2016 Chile submitted its long-standing dispute with Bolivia concerning the Silala/Siloli watercourse to the International Court of Justice. Since 1997 Bolivia has contended that the watercourse is not international and that it therefore belongs exclusively to Bolivia. In its application Chile requested ...

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 ...

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 ...



Reference works








2014 and before


Periodicals, serial publications

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.

As we are right in the middle of moving to a new library system, it is not yet possible to automatically collect new titles for this Research Guide.

Librarian's choice

  • Zimmermann, A. (et al.) (eds.), The Statute of the International Court of Justice: A Commentary (3rd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019.

    Zimmermann, A. (et al.) (eds.), The Statute of the International Court of Justice: A Commentary (3rd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019.

    This comprehensive Commentary on the Statute of the International Court of Justice, now in its third edition, analyses in detail not only the Statute of the Court itself but also the related provisions of the United Nations Charter as well as the relevant provisions of the Court's Rules of Procedure. Six years after the publication of the second edition, the third edition of the Commentary embraces current events before the International Court of Justice as well as before other courts and tribunals relevant for the interpretation and application of its Statute.The Commentary provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of all legal questions and issues the Court has had to address in the past, and looks forward to those it will have to address in the future. It illuminates the central issues of procedure and substance that the Court and counsel appearing before it face in their day-to-day work. In addition to commentary covering all of the articles of the Statute of the ICJ, plus the relevant articles of the Charter of the United Nations, the book includes two scene-setting chapters: Historical Introduction and General Principles of Procedural Law, as well as important and instructive chapters on Counter-Claims, Discontinuation and Withdrawal, and Evidentiary Issues.

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  • Xue, H., Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2017.

    Xue, H., Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2017.

    The International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the United Nations, plays an important and unique role in the peaceful settlement of international disputes. As a third-party mechanism, it is a highly technical and well-structured institution. Through its continuous and consistent jurisprudence, it provides legal certainty, stability and predictability to the interpretation and application of international law.  This special course intends to introduce some general concepts that underlie international adjudication and the basic rules and principles governing the competence and jurisdiction of the Court. Notwithstanding its prominence, the Court does not have a general and unconditional competence in dispute resolution. Its jurisdiction is based on the consent of the States, both in general terms as well as in each specific case, which reflects the attributes of the State system. Jurisdiction is a substantive matter. The Court’s decision on the question of jurisdiction is no less important than on the merits.

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  • Wojcikiewicz Almeida, P., and J.-M. Sorel (eds.), Latin America and the International Court of Justice: Contributions to International Law, London, Routledge, 2017.

    Wojcikiewicz Almeida, P., and J.-M. Sorel (eds.), Latin America and the International Court of Justice: Contributions to International Law, London, Routledge, 2017.

    This book aims to evaluate the contribution of Latin America to the development of international law at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This contemporary approach to international adjudication includes the historical contribution of the region to the development of international law through the emergence of international jurisdictions, as well as the procedural and material contribution of the cases submitted by or against Latin American states to the ICJ to the development of international law. The project then conceives international jurisdictions from a multifunctional perspective, which encompasses the Court as both an instrument of the parties and an organ of a value-based international community. This shows how Latin American states have become increasingly committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes and to the promotion of international law through adjudication. It culminates with an expansion of the traditional understanding of the function of the ICJ by Latin American states, including an analysis of existing challenges in the region.

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  • Couvreur, P., The International Court of Justice and the Effectiveness of International Law, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2017.

    This publication, by Philippe Couvreur, Registrar of the International Court of Justice since 2000, offers an account of the history and main achievements of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the only court with universal and general jurisdiction. The book discusses the hopes and aims of creating a permanent, international tribunal for settling disputes between States, and the ICJ’s role in ensuring the effectiveness of the rule of law at the international level. Taking into account the characteristics of the international legal order, this work provides a description of the main achievements brought about in this respect by the creation of the ICJ; the basis and scope of its function as a judicial institution; its relationship with other means of settling disputes and its integration in the United Nations; and finally its substantial contribution in two areas of great significance for the promotion and strengthening of peaceful relations between States, namely the settlement of land and maritime disputes and the implementation of the law of State responsibility.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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