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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Question How Does the International Court of Justice Work

    If States need to resolve an issue in the ICJ, how does one ensure whether one of the States will actually accept to have their issue dealt with?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Icj

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is court set up to resolve disputes between member nations. (I will not use the word “states” here because this is a site that deals with U.S. law and in the U.S. the term “states” does not refer to nations but rather to political subdivisions of the U.S. and thus the use of that term could be confusing.) Not all nations are members of the ICJ and course non members cannot be compelled to resolve a dispute in the ICJ. Even in disputes between member nations, a member nation cannot be compelled to participate in resolving a dispute in the ICJ. In many instances the ICJ will not even have jurisdiction to hear a case brought in the ICJ unless all the nations involved agree to submit the dispute to the ICJ.

    There are some types of disputes that may be brought that do not require consent of the defendant nation, but even there the defendant nation is not required to participate in the ICJ proceeding. Of course, in that case the defendant nation risks having a judgment rendered against it just based on the evidence presented by the plaintiff nation.

    The biggest problem, though, is that there is no way for the ICJ to enforce its judgments. If a nation loses in the ICJ and really does not like the decision, it can simply ignore the decision and nothing can really be done by the ICJ to sanction that nation for it. The ICJ thus relies on goodwill of the member nations to comply with judgments of the court.

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