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The International Court of Justice (”ICJ”) is an international organization that functions as the judicial branch of the United Nations. The ICJ is sometimes called the World Court.  The ICJ was established in 1945 and has its headquarters at The Hague, Netherlands.

ICJ has a dual jurisdiction that includes:

•        Contentious Jurisdiction

•        Advisory Jurisdiction

The ICJ decides disputes of a legal nature in accordance with international law.  Such cases are submitted to it by member States (contentious jurisdiction).  Since States alone have capacity to appear before the ICJ, public international organizations cannot as such be parties to any case before it.

ICJ also gives advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of the organs of the United Nations or its specialized agencies authorized to make such a request (advisory jurisdiction).  The advisory procedure is, however, available to such organizations and to them alone.  Though based on contentious proceedings, the procedure in advisory proceedings has distinctive features resulting from the special nature and purpose of the advisory function.

ICJ can only deal with a dispute when the States concerned have recognized its jurisdiction.  No State can therefore be a party to proceedings before ICJ unless it has in some manner or other consented thereto.

Inside Jurisdiction