International Court of Justice (ICJ)
The creation of the Court represented the culmination of a long development of methods for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the origins of which can be traced back to classical times.
- Principal Judicial Organ of UN
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.
- Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands)
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).
- Settle Legal Disputes
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.
- Composed of 15 Judges
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.
How the Court works
The Court may entertain two types of cases: legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by United Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory proceedings).
States have no permanent representatives accredited to the Court. They normally communicate with the Registrar through the medium of their Minister for Foreign Affairs or their ambassador accredited to the Netherlands. Where they are parties to a case before the Court they are represented by an agent.