It is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.
- 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.
- The 15 judges of the Court are distributed as per the regions: three from Africa, two from Latin America and Caribbean, three from Asia, five from Western Europe and other states and two from Eastern Europe.
- 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.
Qualifications of ICJ judges:
- A judge should have a high moral character.
- A judge should fit to the qualifications of appointment of highest judicial officers as prescribed by their respective states or
- A judge should be a juriconsult of recognized competence in international law.
- As stated in the UN Charter, all 193 UN members are automatically parties to the Court’s statute. Non-UN members may also become parties to the Court’s statute.
- Once a state is a party to the Court’s statute, it is entitled to participate in cases before the Court.
- However, being a party to the statute does not automatically give the Court jurisdiction over disputes involving those parties.
India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).