The Future of International Courts and Tribunals in The Hague :

August 23, 2020

International courts are formed by treaties between nations or under the authority of an international organization such as the United Nations and include ad hoc tribunals and permanent institutions but exclude any courts arising purely under national authority. What is International Court of Justice (ICJ ) ? 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 it commenced its functions April 1946. For India this year is very important as it was preparing to Draft its Constitution and formed Constituent Assembly  in December,1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Out of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America). Early examples of international courts include the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals established in the aftermath of World War II.  Two such courts are presently located at The Hague in the Netherlands are “the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” , and “the International Criminal Court (ICC)”. Further international courts exist elsewhere, usually with their jurisdiction restricted to a particular country or issue, such as the one dealing with the genocide in Rwanda. In addition to international tribunals created to address crimes committed during genocides and civil war, ad hoc courts combining international and domestic strategies have also been established on a situational basis. Examples of these “hybrid tribunals” are found in Sierra Leone, Lebanon, East Timor, and Cambodia. Role of ICJ: The Court’s role is to settle 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 as per provisions of its law. Composition of ICJ: 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. List of international courts Name Scope Years active Subject matter African Court of Justice Africa 2009–present Interpretation of AU treaties African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Africa 2006–present Human rights Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Global 1995–present Trade disputes within the WTO Benelux Court of Justice Benelux 1975–present Trade disputes within Benelux Caribbean Court of Justice Caribbean 2005–present General disputes COMESA Court of Justice Africa 1998–present Trade disputes within COMESA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration of the OHADA Africa 1998–present Interpretation of OHADA treaties and uniform laws Court of Justice of the Andean Community South America 1983–present Trade disputes within CAN Court of the Eurasian Economic Union Former USSR 2015–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the EAEU East African Courts of Justice Africa 2001–present Interpretation of EAC treaties Eastern Carrabian Supreme Court Caribbean 1967–present General disputes Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States Former USSR 1994–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the CIS ECOWAS Community Court of Justice Africa 1996–present Interpretation of ECOWAS treaties European […]

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