Welcome to the second module of this MOOC. I'm Cecily Rose and I'll be introducing you to the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court. When journalists write about the judgements of the World Court in The Hague, what institution are they referring to? What is it's role in the UN system? And how is it different from the other international courts and tribunals based in The Hague? The name World Court implies that this is an institution with very broad powers to settle international disputes. But in fact, as we'll discover, the role of this institution is more limited than the name World Court suggests. Together, we'll look at how this court came into existence, who the judges are, and what they do. The ICJ is a unique and important institution because it's open to all states that want to resolve their legal differences through a court of law. But in light of what we'll discuss in this module, I encourage you to ask whether it merits the name World Court. What do you think this name means and does it describe the ICJ? First, how did the International Court of Justice come into existence? The ICJ was established in 1946. According to the UN Charter, the ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. This means that the ICJ is the UN's only permanent court available to states that want to settle their disputes peacefully, through adjudication. The Court has the capacity to resolve <br>disputes concerning a very wide range of issues, because this is how the <br> drafters of the UN Charter designed the court. Since 1946, the Court has settled disputes<br> about land and maritime boundaries. The use of force, genocide, the use of nuclear weapons, the protection of the environment, and the immunities of high level government officials and also states themselves. The ICJ can be considered the <br>successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice, which came into existence in 1922, and was associated with the League of Nations. The Peace Palace in The Hague served as the home of the Permanent Court of International Justice. And it is now the home of it's successor, the ICJ. The Permanent Court of Arbitration also shares the Peace Palace with the ICJ. So who are the judges of the ICJ? How do lawyers become judges at this court? The system for appointing ICJ judges has a political element. The UN's two political bodies, the General Assembly and the Security Council, are responsible for electing ICJ judges. Once elected, the judges serve for terms of 9 years. This is different from many national systems, where judges often have lifetime appointments. ICJ judges may be reelected and many of them serve for more than one term. The ICJ has a total of 15 judges from all over the world. The judges serve in their <br>individual capacities, not as representatives of their states of nationality. In other words, they exercise their<br>independent judgement in deciding cases that come before the court. Even though the judges are independent, the bench still has to consist of judges from different geographical regions, as well as the principle legal systems of the world. In addition, the permanent five members of the UN Security Council are always represented on the court, so that there are always judges from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and <br>the United States. What kinds of jobs had these judges held before their election to the court? The judges come from of a range of professional backgrounds. Many served as lawyers in their ministries <br>of Foreign Affairs, or as diplomats. Others were international law professors, or judges at international or domestic courts. Some of them had very active legal practices, representing states in disputes before the ICJ. But as judges of the court, they are, of course, barred from continuing such work. Out of the 15 judges, 3 of them are currently women. Judge Donoghue of the United States, Judge Sebutinde of Uganda, and Judge Xue of China. This may seem like a small number, but the first women joined the court as late as 1995. Rosalyn Higgins, a former international <br>law professor, from the United Kingdom served as an ICJ judge from 1995, to 2009. And from 2006 to 2009, <br>she was the first and so far the only female president of the court. I invite you to think about the extent to which it's important that women participate in the work of the ICJ. Whether as judges or as counsel for states. Now you know who the judges are. But what do they do as members of the Court? The Court has two functions. First, it mainly settles disputes between states. Second, it also sometimes provides advice to the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, and other UN agencies. First, when the ICJ settles disputes between states these are called contentious cases. In contentious cases, there's a legal dispute between the parties before the court. States always have to consent to their disputes being settled by the court. This means that states can never be brought to the court involuntarily without having consented at some point to the ICJ having the competence<br>to settle their dispute. The Courts ability to settle disputes is therefore limited by the need for state consent. Once a dispute between two states has been brought to the Court, the first step is the submission of written arguments or submissions. After that, the parties present their arguments orally in the Great Hall of Justice, before the bench of judges. >> Therefore, <br>Georgia respectfully requests the courts, as a matter of urgency to order the following provisional measures. >> Madam President, Members of the Court. I now have the honor to read out to you the final submission. of the Russian Federation. >> [FOREIGN] >> [FOREIGN] >> Serbia requests a call to a judge and declare. Republic of Croatia respectfully requests the International Court of Justice to. >> [FOREIGN] >> After the judges have deliberated and come to a decision, the ICJ delivers a written judgment. Usually about six months after the close of oral proceedings. >> For these reasons, the Court unanimously finds that it has jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by Australia on 31st May 2010. By 12 votes to 4, finds that special permits granted by Japan in connection with JARPA II do not fall within the provisions of Article 8 paragraph 1 of the International Convention. For the regulation of whaling. >> When the ICJ issues a judgement in a contentious case, it is binding on the parties. In other words, the parties have a legal obligation to comply with the Court's decision. Most of the ICJ's judgments have been respected or complied with by the parties which had to consent to the settlement <br>of their dispute by the ICJ, in the first place. The need for state consent, therefore, limits the Courts ability<br> to settle disputes. But it also potentially enhances compliance by states with the Courts ruling in a given case. I'll go into more detail about contentious cases in the next video. Secondly, the ICJ also occasionally <br>provides advice to UN bodies in what are called advisory proceedings. The Courts advisory opinions concern a <br>legal question rather than a legal dispute between two or more states. The Courts advisory proceedings function <br>as an opportunity for the court to provide authoritative guidance on a question about international law. According to the UN Charter, states <br>themselves cannot ask the ICJ for advice. But the UN General Assembly, and the UN Security Council can request advisory opinions on all sorts of issues. In addition, other organs of the UN and specialized agencies like the World Health Organization, can request advisory opinions when the General Assembly gives them the authority to do so. But these requests have to relate to the mandate of the particular specialized agency. The Court's advisory opinions are non-binding, unlike the ICJ's judgments in contentious cases between states. This means that the opinions provide advice. But don't require compliance by the UN <br>body that has requested the opinion or by states. In contrast with the Courts docket of <br>contentious cases, advisory proceedings are relatively infrequent but over the course of the ICJ's history, there have been some very prominent <br>advisory proceedings, that have touched on highly political issues such as Kosovo's <br>Declaration of Independence and the Israeli Wall. I invite you to learn more about <br>how advisory proceedings relate to international politics in <br>video 4 of this module. In this video, I've introduced the International Court of Justice. which has been in existence since 1946 and consists of 15 judges from around the world. The Court performs two functions. It settles disputes between states in contentious cases, and it provides advice to UN bodies and <br>advisory proceedings. In light of what we've discussed so far, do you think this institution merits the name World Court? Please join me in exploring this Court in more detail in the next two videos.