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International Court of Justice

Published: 
27 September 2012
Modified: 
09 May 2014

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

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

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 authorized UN organs and specialised agencies.

The ICJ has its seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court's official languages are French and English.

The ICJ operates under a Statute which forms part of the UN Charter, as well as under its own rules. It began working in April 1946, when it replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which had been established in 1920 under the auspices of the League of Nations.

The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who are elected by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, voting simultaneously, for a term of office of nine years. They may be re-elected. The Court is assisted by a permanent administrative organ, the Registry.

For more information, visit the website of the International Court of Justice: www.icj-cij.org, or download the PDF about the International Court of Justice

Contact details

ICJ
Peace Palace
Carnegieplein 2
2517 KJ The Hague

Email: information@icj-cij.org
Website: www.icj-cij.org




Published: 
27 September 2012
Modified: 
09 May 2014