News-CRUX-10     25th May 2024        

Context: In a landmark emergency ruling, the International Court of Justice recently ordered Israel to immediately halt its military assault on Rafah, following South Africa's accusation of genocide.

International Court of Justice

  • About: Also called the World Court, is the only international court that adjudicates general disputes between nations, and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues.
  • United Nation: Principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
  • Established:  In 1945 by United Nations charter and began work in 1946.
  • Location: The Hague, The Netherlands.
  • Official language: Its official working languages are English and French.
  • Enforcement: While decisions are legally binding, the lack of an enforcement mechanism results in defiance. UNSC is authorized to enforce decisions, but compliance is influenced by power politics, and the U.S.'s veto power may impact enforcement.
  • Judges:

o Consists of panel of 15 judges, elected for nine years by UN General Assembly and Security Council.

o No single member state may have more than one representative on the court.

o Judges collectively must reflect the principal civilizations and legal systems of the world.

  • Function

o To settle in accordance with international law the legal disputes submitted by States.

o To give advisory opinions on legal questions referred by duly authorised international organs/agencies.

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