International Court of Justice
|International Court of Justice|
Office building of the International Court of Justice in The Hague (2015)
|English name||International Court of Justice (ICJ)|
|French name||Cour Internationale de Justice (CIJ)|
|Seat of the organs||The Hague , Netherlands|
Joan E. Donoghue
(Judge and President of the International Court of Justice)
|Upper organization||United Nations|
|Website of the International Court of Justice|
The International Court of Justice (ICJ; French Cour internationale de Justice , CIJ , English International Court of Justice , ICJ ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and is based in the Peace Palace in the Netherlands The Hague . Its functioning and jurisdiction are regulated in the Charter of the United Nations , of which the Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part.
Jurisdiction and Procedure
Parties to the International Court of Justice can only be states , not international organizations and other subjects of international law . Only contracting states to the ICJ Statute have access to the court. According to Article 93 Paragraph 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, these are, on the one hand, all UN members and, on the other hand, those states that are not members of the UN but have ratified the statute .
The court is only competent to decide a case if all parties involved have recognized the jurisdiction. Such recognition can take place by means of a declaration for the respective procedure, by reference in an international treaty or in abstract form by means of a declaration of submission. However, such declarations are often subject to far- reaching reservations , such as the restriction formulated in the so-called Connally reservation of the United States ' declaration of submission, which was valid from 1946 to 1986 , that recognition of the jurisdiction of the ICJ by the USA should not apply to matters that the USA believes would be subject to the jurisdiction of their national courts. The decisions are binding inter partes , i. H. for the parties involved.
Sub-organizations of the United Nations can request legal opinions on relevant topics from the IGH with the respective authorization by the General Assembly . The General Assembly or the UN Security Council can request an expert opinion on any legal issue. Although there were only 76 judgments and 24 legal opinions by 2003 , the ICJ was significantly involved in the further development of international law .
In 2008, Germany made a declaration of submission, like 73 other states so far, and since then has been able to sue another state that has also made such a declaration in all international law disputes or be sued by that state itself. Before that, this was only possible if there was a contractual agreement between the two parties in which the International Court of Justice was expressly named, or if there was at least an agreement to settle the dispute before it. Germany has excluded armed forces deployments abroad and the use of German sovereign territory for military purposes from the declaration of submission.
Luxembourg had already recognized the jurisdiction of the StIGH as compulsory in 1930 . With regard to the ICJ, Switzerland followed in 1948, Liechtenstein in 1950, and Austria in 1971.
According to Article 38 of its Statute, the Court of Justice applies in its decisions:
- the international agreements of a general or particular nature, in which norms expressly recognized by the states in dispute are drawn up;
- customary international law as the expression of a common practice recognized as law;
- the general principles of law recognized by civilized states .
The judicial decisions of international courts and "the teachings of the most recognized authors of the various peoples" serve as an aid to interpretation for the establishment of the legal norms. These include the drafts of the International Law Commission or the Institut de Droit international .
With the consent of the parties, the Court of Justice may also decide the dispute ex aequo et bono .
In 1930 well-known American scholars and lawyers made an appeal to the League of Nations , in which they proposed a world court with the versatile lawyer John H. Wigmore as judge. The International Court of Justice emerged from the Permanent International Court of Justice (StIGH), which existed as a forerunner from 1922 to 1946 . The International Court of Justice was established in 1945 and began its work on April 18, 1946. It works under the Charter of the United Nations as the “main judicial body of the United Nations” (Art. 92). On October 15, 1946, the Security Council, with Resolution 9, made it possible for states that were not members of the Statute to refer to the Court of Justice.
The Corfu Canal Case , a lawsuit brought by the United Kingdom against Albania, closed in 1949 , was the first case the Court of Justice passed a judgment.
Recent studies show that most of the judgments of the Court of Justice are obeyed, even if the Court of Justice depends on the United Nations Security Council to enforce its decisions (Article 94.2 of the Charter of the United Nations). However, several states have not recognized or followed decisions of the International Court of Justice in the past, including:
- 1971: The Republic of South Africa violates the resolution to abandon the occupation of Namibia .
- 1973: France violates an injunction by the judges in connection with the then above-ground nuclear weapons tests on the Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific.
- Morocco did not hold a referendum on the nationality of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara , which was recommended in the 1975 opinion of the International Court of Justice.
- 1984: The USA declares the court incapable of jurisdiction in the case of "Military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua ", as its own security concerns prevent recognition of the judgment.
- In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, in express departure from the ICJ case law in the Avena case (Mexico versus the United States), confirms the application of preclusive provisions of American law, which assert a violation of the duty to provide information about consular protection against foreigners in the second instance or in proceedings before federal courts make it practically impossible.
With the participation of German-speaking countries
Germany has called the IGH four times so far. The first case (1967-69 with the participation of Denmark and the Netherlands ) concerned mining rights in the continental shelf under the North Sea . In the second case (1972–74; the opponent was Iceland ), the fishing industry was judged. The third trial was the " LaGrand Case " against the United States (1999–2001). In the fourth case, Germany filed a lawsuit against Italy in 2008 because Germany had been sentenced by Italian courts to pay compensation for Nazi crimes . Greece joined the proceedings in 2011 because Greek courts had also sentenced Germany to compensation for Nazi crimes, but the enforcement of these judgments was not permitted in Greece, only in Italy. In 2012, the court ruled that Italy had violated Germany's immunity - also because of the enforcement of the Greek claims. Italy was also condemned by the ICJ to override the court rulings against Germany.
As a defendant, Germany has so far been involved in proceedings twice. 1999–2004 it was about the Kosovo conflict . The subject of the lawsuit filed by the Principality of Liechtenstein in 2001 was the handling of Liechtenstein assets on the territory of the former Czechoslovakia , which were treated as German foreign assets in connection with the Second World War and used to pay off German war debts . The proceedings ended in 2005 with the decision that Liechtenstein's claims should not be directed against Germany. The German judge Bruno Simma , who was acting at the court during the proceedings, did not take part in the decision due to personal bias, as he had previously acted as legal advisor to the German government in this case. Instead of Simma, Carl-August Fleischhauer , who had worked at the court until 2003, was an ad hoc member of the court in these proceedings .
To date, Liechtenstein has been involved in two and Switzerland in three proceedings. Austria and Luxembourg have not yet appeared before the ICJ.
Internationally significant cases
- USA complained in 1980 about the imprisonment of American diplomats in Iran
- Dispute between Tunisia and Libya over the delimitation of the continental shelf between them
- Complaint from Pakistan on behalf of the people of Kashmir
- Dispute over the course of the maritime border between the US and Canada in the Gulf of Maine
- Complaint by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against the member states of NATO regarding their actions in the Kosovo war (rejected on December 15, 2004 due to lack of jurisdiction because Yugoslavia was not a party to the ICJ statute at the time of the application)
- Complaint by the Republic of North Macedonia that Greece violated the interim agreement of September 13, 1995 between the two countries by vetoing Macedonia's accession to NATO and the EU
- Complaint from Nicaragua about US interference in the Contra War , see: Nicaragua v. United States of America
- Lawsuit by Bolivia against Chile for negotiations on Bolivia's access to the Pacific (dismissed on October 1, 2018)
- Gambia lawsuit against Myanmar to prevent and punish the crime of genocide ( Rohingya genocide case )
The 15 judges of the court, who must all be of different nationalities , are jointly elected by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for a term of office of nine years, with the possibility of re-election at a later date. The judges' term of office ends on February 5th of the specified year. When electing, the states pay attention to a geographical representation of the five world regions that has been determined in advance in the form of agreements . This means that after a certain rotation, vacant judge positions are filled by candidates from one region. A third of the judges are re-elected every three years. In their jurisdiction , the judges do not represent their country, but have to judge completely independently. The standard is international law.
If no national of a state involved is a member of the court in a legal dispute, a judge proposed by that state can take part in the proceedings on an ad hoc basis . Then the number of members increases to up to 17.
Since February 6, 2021, the following judges belong to the International Court of Justice:
- Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf , Somalia (until 2027)
- Xue Hanqin , People's Republic of China (until 2030)
- Yuji Iwasawa , Japan (until 2030)
- Peter Tomka , Slovakia (until 2030)
- Ronny Abraham , France (until 2027)
- Mohamed Bennouna , Morocco (until 2024)
- Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade , Brazil (until 2027)
- Joan E. Donoghue , United States (until 2024), President (since 2021)
- Georg Nolte , Germany (until 2030)
- Julia Sebutinde , Uganda (until 2030)
- Dalveer Bhandari , India (until 2027)
- Patrick Lipton Robinson , Jamaica (until 2024)
- James Crawford , Australia (until 2024)
- Kirill Geworgjan , Russia (until 2024), Vice President (since 2021)
- Nawaf Salam , Lebanon (until 2027)
The management of the office and the administration of the International Court of Justice and thus the administrative responsibilities are incumbent on the registrar . The Belgian lawyer Philippe Gautier has held this office since August 2019 .
|No.||Surname||Taking office||Term expires||Country of origin|
|1||José Gustavo Guerrero (1876-1958)||1946||1949||El Salvador|
|2||Jules Basdevant (1877-1968)||1949||1952||France|
|3||Arnold Duncan McNair (1885-1975)||1952||1955||United Kingdom|
|4th||Green H. Hackworth (1883-1973)||1955||1958||United States|
|5||Helge Klæstad (1885-1965)||1958||1961||Norway|
|6th||Bohdan Winiarski (1884–1969)||1961||1964||Poland|
|7th||Sir Percy Claude Spender (1897–1985)||1964||1967||Australia|
|8th||José Luis Bustamante y Rivero (1894-1989)||1967||1970||Peru|
|9||Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan (1893–1985)||1970||1973||Pakistan|
|10||Manfred Lachs (1914–1993)||1973||1976||Poland|
|11||Eduardo Jiménez de Aréchaga (1918–1994)||1976||1979||Uruguay|
|12th||Sir Humphrey Waldock (1904-1981)||1979||1981||United Kingdom|
|13th||Taslim Olawale Elias (1914–1991)||1981||1985||Nigeria|
|14th||Nagendra Singh (1914–1988)||1985||1988||India|
|15th||José María Ruda (1924-1994)||1988||1991||Argentina|
|16||Robert Yewdall Jennings (1913-2004)||1991||1994||United Kingdom|
|17th||Mohammed Bedjaoui (* 1929)||1994||1997||Algeria|
|18th||Stephen M. Schwebel (* 1929)||1997||2000||United States|
|19th||Gilbert Guillaume (* 1930)||2000||2003||France|
|20th||Shi Jiuyong (born 1926)||2003||2006||People's Republic of China|
|21||Rosalyn Higgins (born 1937)||2006||2009||United Kingdom|
|22nd||Hisashi Owada (* 1932)||2009||2012||Japan|
|23||Peter Tomka (* 1956)||2012||2015||Slovakia|
|24||Ronny Abraham (* 1951)||2015||2018||France|
|25th||Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (* 1948)||2018||2021||Somalia|
|26||Joan E. Donoghue (born 1956)||2021||officiating||United States|
(in chronological order)
- Hans Wehberg : The Problem Of An International Court Of Justice. At The Clarendon Press, Oxford 1918 ( digitized in the Internet Archive , English).
- Arthur Eyffinger, Arthur Witteveen, Mohammed Bedjaoui : La Cour internationale de Justice 1946–1996. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague / London 1999, ISBN 90-411-0468-2 (French).
- Shabtai Rosenne : The World Court: What It is and How It Works. 6th edition. Nijhoff, Leiden 2003, ISBN 90-04-13633-9 (English).
- Constanze Schulte: Compliance with Decisions of the International Court of Justice. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2004, ISBN 0-19-927672-2 (English).
- Moritz Karg: IGH vs. ISGH. The relationship between two international dispute settlement bodies. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2005, ISBN 3-8329-1445-5 .
- Andreas Zimmermann et al. (Ed.): The Statute of the International Court of Justice - A Commentary. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2006, ISBN 0-19-926177-6 (English).
- German Society for the United Nations (Ed.): The International Court of Justice (IHG). (= UN basic information, No. 38). DGVN, Berlin 2007, ( PDF ).
- German Society for the United Nations (ed.): Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice. DGVN, Berlin 2016, pp. 69–99 ( PDF ).
- Official website of the International Court of Justice (English version)
- International Court of Justice . In: UNRIC.org
- Statute of the International Court of Justice . In: UNRIC.org
- The International Court of Justice . In: Menschenrechtsabkommen.de
- Current Members. International Court of Justice, accessed February 10, 2021 .
- History. International Court of Justice, accessed October 14, 2020 .
- For the Federal Republic of Germany: Federal Law Gazette 1973 II pp. 430, 505
- List of states that recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ according to Art. 36 Paragraph 2 of the ICJ Statute, online ( memento of August 15, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) (English), accessed on July 31, 2017.
- Wording of the declaration of submission PDF; 1 MB (p. 38); BT-Drs. 16/9218 (PDF; 73 kB)
- For criticism of these reservations, see, for example, the open letter PDF; 1 MB (p. 39) from the ver.di union of June 10, 2008.
- LNTS vol. C p. 154 ( Memento of February 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (cf. Art. 36, Paragraph 5 of the ICJ Statute)
- UNTS Vol. 17 p. 116 ( Memento from December 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive ); → German version
- UNTS vol. 51 p. 120 ( Memento from December 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive ); LGBl. 1950 No. 6/1
- UNTS vol. 778 p. 302 ( Memento of December 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive ); Federal Law Gazette No. 249/1971
- Statute of the International Court of Justice, Annex to the Statute (Charter) of the United Nations of June 26, 1945. staatsvertrates.de, accessed on November 28, 2020.
- Legal sources Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law , accessed on November 28, 2020.
- Karin Oellers-Frahm: The Rules of Procedure of the International Court of Justice of April 14, 1978. Archiv des Völkerrechts 1979, pp. 309-320.
- Christian J. Tams: The International Court of Justice (IGH) German Society for the United Nations , July 2007.
- Günter Spendel : The legal scholar Josef Kohler and the University of Würzburg. In: Peter Baumgart (Ed.): Four hundred years of the University of Würzburg. A commemorative publication. Degener & Co. (Gerhard Gessner), Neustadt an der Aisch 1982 (= sources and contributions to the history of the University of Würzburg. Volume 6), ISBN 3-7686-9062-8 , pp. 461–482; here: p. 464.
- Encyclopedia of the Nations: The International Court of Justice - Some case histories of disputes submitted to the court. Retrieved November 8, 2009 .
- North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany / Denmark) ( Memento from February 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany / Netherlands) ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Fisheries Jurisdiction (Federal Republic of Germany v. Iceland) ( Memento from February 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- LaGrand (Germany v. United States of America) ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening) ( Memento from February 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
- Legality of Use of Force (Serbia and Montenegro v. Germany) ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Certain Property (Liechtenstein v. Germany) ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Certain Property (Liechtenstein v. Germany) (see above); Nottebohm (Liechtenstein v. Guatemala) ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (1951–55)
- Interhandel (Switzerland v. United States of America) ( Memento of February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (1957–59); Status vis-à-vis the Host State of a Diplomatic Envoy to the United Nations (Commonwealth of Dominica v. Switzerland) ( Memento from February 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (2006); Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Belgium v. Switzerland) ( Memento from February 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (2009-2011)
- RECUEIL DES ARRÊTS, AVIS CONSULTATIFS ET ORDONNANCES ( Memento of January 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- APPLICATION FOR REVISION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT OF 24 FEBRUARY 1982 IN THE CASE CONCERNING THE CONTINENTAL SHELF (TUNISIA / LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA) ( Memento from January 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Affaire relative au Procès de prisonniers de guerre pakistanais ( Memento of February 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
- AFFAIRE DE LA DÉLIMITATION DE LA FRONTIÈRE MARITIME DANS LA RÉGION DU GOLFE DU MAINE ( Memento from January 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Archived copy ( Memento of February 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- No. 32193 ( Memento from December 18, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
- The Court finds that Greece, by objecting to the admission of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to NATO, has breached its obligation under Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 ( Memento of 11 January 2012 on the Internet Archives )
- verdict in Grenzzstreit. Court rejects Bolivia's right to access the sea , October 1, 2018.