19 October, 2016

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Justice is the backbone of humanity in order to maintain peace and promote the prosperity among the people. Different country have different frame of justice according to their own law. But what about when two countries came in conflict with each other (eg- South China dispute) ?. In order to solve that kind of problem The International Court of Justice (ICJ) , a judicial organ of the United Nations (UN) was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).

The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.

The Court has two functions:

1.To settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted by States, and

2.To give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies.

Current Composition

President - Ronny Abraham

Vice-President - Abdulqawui Ahmed Yusuf

Judges - Xue Hanqin , Joan E. Donoghue , Giorgio Gaja

In order to hear any appeal the ICJ sets up ad hoc chambers to hear and decide particular disputes. While deciding the case, the ICJ applies the principles of international law. It also uses the laws of the civilized world. This may be the civil and criminal law of major countries. It may also refer to legal writings, law books, and earlier decisions while deciding any matter.

The first ad hoc chamber was formed in 1982 in the case concerning the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area between Canada and the United States, and the second in 1985 in the case concerning the Frontier Dispute between Burkina Faso and the Republic of Mali. The third was set up in March 1987 in the case concerning Elettronica Sicula S.p.A. (ELSI) between the United States of America and Italy and the fourth was formed in May 1987 in the case concerning the Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute between El Salvador and Honduras. The year 2002 saw the formation of the fifth, to deal with the Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger) case, and the sixth, to hear the Application for Revision of the Judgment of 11 September 1992 in the Case concerning the Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador/Honduras: Nicaragua intervening) (El Salvador v. Honduras).

Recently in the south china disputes the international tribunal  delivered a sweeping rebuke regarding China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. Earlier the case brought by the  Philippines  under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) against the People's Republic of China concerning certain issues in the South China Sea including the legality of China's "nine-dotted line" claim over the South China Sea under the UNCLOS. The five judges and legal experts on the tribunal ruled unanimously, and the decision in favor of the Philippines. China had rejected the verdict of International court as the verdict was only recommendary in nature and not binding.

Following Law is the most difficult task but at the same time it is the most respectful task. Whether we talk about any particular individual or nation , law are made to promote the peace and humanity. Law is for the betterment of society and educate people about their rights. The International Court of Justice main goal is to solve disputes and promote harmony in the world . Today countries are fighting for water , religion , land etc in that context the concept of International Court of Justice plays a prominent role to settle the disputes among countries . World would be a beautiful place to live if everyone maintain peace , follow the law and promote the brotherhood .


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