Most International Courts Have Compulsory Jurisdiction

With regard to article 36, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the list also contains the text of declarations made under the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice that have not lapsed or withdrawn. There are now six such statements. Wednesday`s withdrawals are part of a decades-long trend of US withdrawal from the ICJ. While the U.S. initially accepted the ICJ`s general compulsory jurisdiction, it withdrew that consent in 1985 after the ICJ issued an unfavorable court ruling in a case related to U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua. At this point, the ICJ`s jurisdiction over the United States became dependent on certain provisions of the treaty – resulting in limited exposure, which the United States has generally sought to avoid, particularly in recent years. In 2005, the United States responded to another round of adverse ICJ decisions by also withdrawing from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (CVRC), which are closely related to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which are closely related to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. (e) The Court of Justice itself shall rule on all matters within its jurisdiction Finally, article 36, paragraph 5, provides for jurisdiction on the basis of observations made in accordance with the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice. Similarly, Article 37 of the Statute of the ICJ confers jurisdiction over any additional clause of a treaty conferring jurisdiction on the PCIJ. Cases before the ICJ follow a standard pattern. The action is brought by the applicant, who submits a written statement setting out the jurisdiction of the court and the merits of his claim.

The defendant may accept the jurisdiction of the court and file his own claim on the merits. The Allied Conference held in Dumbarton Oaks in the United States in October 1944 issued a proposal calling for the creation of an intergovernmental organization that would include an international court. In April 1945, a meeting was convened in Washington, D.C., attended by 44 jurists from around the world, to draft a statute for the proposed court. The bill was essentially similar to the PCIJ bill, and there was some discussion about whether a new tribunal should be created. At the San Francisco Conference, held from 25 April to 26 June 1945 and attended by 50 countries, it was decided to establish an entirely new tribunal as the principal organ of the new United Nations. The Statute of this Court would be an integral part of the Charter of the United Nations, which, in order to ensure continuity, expressly stipulated that the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was based on that of the PCIJ. Article 31 of the Statute provides for a procedure whereby judges ad hoc sit before the General Court in contentious proceedings. The system allows each party in a contentious case (if not, one of its nationals sits on the court) to choose an additional person to sit as a judge only in that case. It is therefore possible to sit up to seventeen judges in a case. Following the submission of the applications of the Congo against the France on 11 April 2003 and Djibouti v. France on 9 January 2006, the respondent consented to the jurisdiction of the Court. Accordingly, these cases have been included in the general list as certain criminal proceedings (Republic of the Congo/France) or certain matters of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (Djibouti/France) from the date of receipt of consent.

From its first meeting in 1922 to 1940, the PCIJ dealt with 29 inter-State disputes and issued 27 advisory opinions. The Court`s broad acceptance is reflected in the fact that several hundred international treaties and agreements confer on it jurisdiction over certain categories of disputes. In addition to resolving several serious international disputes, the PCIJ has helped clarify several ambiguities in international law that have contributed to its development. Last Wednesday, 3 October, proved to be a busy day in the world of international law. In the afternoon, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that the United States intends to withdraw from the Optional Protocol on Compulsory Jurisdiction to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), a treaty that gives the International Court of Justice (ICJ) compulsory jurisdiction over VCDR-related disputes. Bolton`s remarks follow an earlier announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US intends to respond to an ICJ order issued this morning by withdrawing from the 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity, which also provides for ICJ jurisdiction over relevant violations. In principle, the Court`s opinions are only advisory in nature, but they are influential and widely respected. Some instruments or regulations may provide in advance for the advisory opinion to be expressly binding on certain bodies or States, but by their nature they are not binding under the Statute of the Court of Justice.

This non-binding nature does not mean that advisory opinions are devoid of legal effect, since the legal reasoning contained therein reflects the relevant views of the Court on important questions of international law. In its investigation, the Court follows essentially the same rules and procedures as apply to its binding judgements in contentious cases submitted to it by sovereign States.


Comments are closed.