International Court of Justice
- 27 September 2012
- 09 May 2014
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
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.