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International Court of Justice (ICJ) UPSC NOTE

 International Court of Justice (ICJ)

  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court.

  •  it is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). 

  • Established in 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations,.

  • It officially began its work in 1946.

  • The ICJ is located in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. 

  • This grand building, constructed between 1907 and 1913, was originally intended to house a permanent court of arbitration for settling international disputes. 

  • It ultimately became the home of the ICJ, symbolizing its role in promoting peace and justice among nations.

  • Settling legal disputes submitted to it by States: 

  • This is the Court's contentious jurisdiction. 

  • States can bring cases against each other concerning any aspect of international law, such as border disputes, maritime boundaries, human rights violations, and breaches of treaties.

    • Giving advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies: 

    • This is the Court's advisory jurisdiction

  • These opinions are not legally binding, but they carry significant weight and can guide international law and policy.

  • The ICJ is composed of 15 judges, elected for nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council

  • The judges must be nationals of different states and represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world.

Recent case against Israel

  • On December 29, 2023, the Republic of South Africa instituted proceedings against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

  • In its application, South Africa argued that the manner in which Israel was conducting its military operations in Gaza violated the international Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). 

  • The ICJ held a hearing on “provisional measures” on January 11-12, 2024, where South Africa and Israel were given three hours each to present their cases. 

  • A ruling from the World Court on the issue of provisional measures is awaited.

  • The case has generated immense debate. 

  • At the time of writing, Bangladesh and Jordan have issued statements that they will intervene in the case, in support of South Africa’s application. 

  • Germany has stated that it will intervene in support of Israel.

  • While a number of other countries, predominantly from Latin America and the Middle-East, have issued official statements supporting South Africa’s application.

  • France going so far as to threaten non-compliance if the ICJ ends up issuing a finding of genocide against Israel.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: International Court of Justice (ICJ) UPSC NOTE
International Court of Justice (ICJ) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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