International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the UN.

The Court has two functions:

  • To settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted by States, and
  • To give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies.

The Court sits in the Peace Palace, along with other institutions concerned with international law, including the Peace Palace Library. The Peace Palace Library is not a UN body.  It provides excellent research guides on a variety of international law topics.

Why in news?

India has renominated its serving candidate at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal legal organ of the United Nations.

Other Points to remember:

  • The Court consists of 15 judges who are elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
  • As a judge of the ICJ, Justice Bhandari will enjoy privileges and immunities equal to the head of a diplomatic mission.
  • Each member of the Court receives an annual salary and supplementary allowance. After leaving the court, members receive annual pensions.
  • Founded in 1945, the ICJ settles disputes between sovereign states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorised UN organs.
  • The ICJ is open to all UN member states.
  • India moved the ICJ against the death penalty awarded by a Pakistan military tribunal to former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav on charges of espionage and subversive activities.


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