international court of justic upsc editorial analysis

What is International Court of Justice (ICJ)

1. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).

2. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

3. The role of the ICJ is to settle legal disputes between countries in accordance with international law.

4. It also gives advisory opinions to the United Nations and its organs and specialized agencies.

5. Sometimes people refer ICJ as “The World Court”.

Where is it located

It is located at The Hague, Netherlands.

Functions of ICJ

1. To settle legal disputes between countries in accordance with international law.

2. To give advisory opinions on legal matters to the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

Who all are members of ICJ

All members of the United Nations are members of the Court. In case, a state who is not a member of the United Nations can be a member of the Court, but under different circumstances.

Organizational Structure of ICJ

1. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who are elected for nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a list of people nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

2. No two judges can be the citizen of the same country.

3. Understanding the seat distribution system in ICJ (informally)

The seats are distributed as per geographic region:-

5 seats for western countries

3 seats for African countries

2 seats for Eastern European countries

3 seats for Asian countries

2 seats for Latin American and Caribbean countries

4. The 5 permanent members (France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States) of the United Nations Security Council always have a judge on the court.

5. Here is the link to the entire blueprint of the organizational structure of ICJ

Nationality of the ICJ Judges

Name Nationality Position Term began Term ends
Ronny Abraham  France President 2005 2027
Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf  Somalia Vice-President 2009 2027
Hisashi Owada  Japan Member 2003 2021
Peter Tomka  Slovakia Member 2003 2021
Mohamed Bennouna  Morocco Member 2006 2024
Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade    Brazil Member 2009 2027
Nawaf Salam  Lebanon    Member 2018 2027
Xue Hanqin  China Member 2010 2021
Joan E. Donoghue  United States Member 2010 2024
Giorgio Gaja  Italy Member 2012 2021
Julia Sebutinde  Uganda Member 2012 2021
Dalveer Bhandari  India Member 2012 2027
James Crawford  Australia Member 2015 2024
Kirill Gevorgian  Russia Member 2015 2024
Patrick Lipton Robinson  Jamaica Member 2015 2024

Latest news on ICJ

21-November-2017 –  First time in 70 yrs, that a UNSC permanent member i.e. United Kingdom will not have a judge on the ICJ panel. Instead the seat went to Dalveer Bhandari (India) who was re-elected. Read the full article here


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