International Court of Justice

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

Members of the International Court of Justice. Photograph: ICJ-CIJ-UN Photo, Rob Ris, Max Koot Studtio, July 2012, Courtesy of the ICJ. All rights reserved
Members of the International Court of Justice (new composition, as from 27 April 2012) in the Japanese Room of the Peace Palace

The Court has a twofold role:

    • 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 duly authorised UN organs and specialised agencies.

    The International Court of Justice was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

    The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Of the 6 principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York.

    The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of 9 years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.

    Contact details

    International Court of Justice
    Peace Palace
    Carnegieplein 2
    2517 KJ The Hague
    Telephone: (070) 302 23 23
    Website: International Court of Justice

    Published: 11 April 2017Modified: 30 May 2017