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International Court of Justice

21-APR-2016 09:17

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was established as principal organ of the United Nations (UN) 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).

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    The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. 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

    It consists of 15 judges—no two of whom may be nationals of the same state—who are elected to nine-year terms by majority votes in the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. The judges, one-third of whom are elected every three years, are eligible for re-election. The judges elect their own president and vice president, each of whom serve a three-year term, and can appoint administrative personnel as necessary.

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    Jurisdiction of ICJ

    • It decides, in accordance with international law, disputes of a legal nature that are submitted to it by States (jurisdiction in contentious cases).

    • It gives advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of the organs of the United Nations or specialized agencies authorized to make such a request (advisory jurisdiction).

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