Monday, February 28, 2011

International Court of Justice Roundup

In connection with meetings at the Peace Palace (left) last week and the recent visit of Dame Rosalyn Higgins to Santa Clara, I had occasion to take a peek at the current docket of the International Court of Justice. The ICJ has entertained 150 cases since its inception in 1947. At the moment, 16 cases are pending on its docket—more than at any other point in history. I asked Judge Higgins about the more frequent resort to the Court and she credited several factors, including an increased faith in the ability of international law to resolve disputes, a recognition of the Court's ability to render just and efficient outcomes, and greater litigiousness generally.
Among the cases pending before the ICJ (another of whose judges, as we've posted here and here, will be in the Bay Area this week), we see:
► Frontier disputes:

► Cases invoking environmental law:

► Near and dear to my heart, are several cases involving international criminal law:

► Cases involving claims of violations of territorial integrity and the prohibition on uses of force:

► Human rights

► Civil jurisdiction

A final dispute that is hard to categorize (though I must admit that the word "petty" came instantly to mind) concerns the continuing fight over the use of the word “Macedonia” by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Application of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 (Greece v. former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Greece has jealously guarded the term, arguing that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which declared its independence in 1991, harbors irredentist territorial ambitions toward Greece’s northern province of Macedonia.
In addition to these contentious cases, there is one matter invoking the Court's advisory jurisdiction. Judgment No.2867 of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization upon a Complaint Filed against the International Fund for Agricultural Development relates to a complaint filed against IFAD on a terminated employment contract that went before the ILO.
Busy times at the ICJ indeed.

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