Questions and sample answers on whether rules on jurisdiction and admissibility of cases before the ICJ are too strict

Define contentious cases in the ICJs Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction denotes the competence or authority of a court to be seized of a matter. The ICJ’s jurisdiction can be exercised in either contentious cases or through advisory opinions. Contentious cases are between two states that have a legal dispute and jurisdiction in such cases can be perceived as either mainline or incidental.[1] Mainline jurisdiction denotes the authority of the ICJ to make decisions on the merits or substance of a case. Incidental jurisdiction relates to preliminary or interlocutory matters that relate to a case before the court.[2]The Court can only adjudicate on a contentious matter if…

What is ratione personae rule in the ICJ?

The ratione personae rule is that only States can be parties to a case before the ICJ.[3] Accordingly, all UN member states, having signed and accepted the obligations under the Charter, also become ipso facto members of the Statute of the ICJ.[4] These states automatically have access to the court.[5] However, states not party to the UN Charter are not barred from the Court.[1]Non UN members that have accented to the ICJ Statute can access the Court upon satisfying certain conditions laid down by the…

Define Rationemateriae as used in in ICJ

Rationemateriae is concerned with state consent before the ICJ can take up a case. It is an established principle of international law that consent forms the basis on which the ICJ can handle a matter.[2] Therefore, a case can only be submitted to it if there is consent of the States involved. Similarly, a State cannot be summoned before the court unless it has consented to…

Describe manifestation of consent according to the ICJ

Article 36(1) provides for jurisdiction in ‘all cases which parties refer to the Court and in all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or treaties and conventions in force.’ This article embodies two ways through which States consent to the jurisdiction of the ICJ. First, provision for those‘cases that parties refer to it’ allows for submission through a bilateral agreement in which parties accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction over that particular dispute. Such an arrangement is called ‘special agreement’ or compromis. Consent may also be manifested by virtue of….

What is advisory Jurisdiction?

The ICJ’s advisory jurisdiction is pursuant to Article 65 of its Statute. It provides that the Court may give an advisory opinion on any legal question at the request of those bodies authorized under Article 96 of the UN Charter. These are the General Assembly, other organs or specialized agencies of the UN or the Security Council.[3] This is through a written request containing the exact questions for consideration, together with all relevant documents that have a bearing on the question. This jurisdiction is only open to…

What are the limits to jurisdiction in the ICJ?

The biggest limitation to the Court is that its jurisdiction rests on international agreements.[4]Accordingly, it lacks real compulsory jurisdiction because States can narrowly interpret, and even place reservations to the exercise of its jurisdiction. Further, it can only settle disputes between States on the basis of international law. Only states can participate in proceedings before the court hence many individuals and organizations that may have…

Define admissibility as used in ICJ

On establishing that the court has jurisdiction in contentious cases, admissibility is the next issue for consideration. Admissibility denotes the viability of a claim that warrants the Court’s exercise of its jurisdiction.Claims under international law have to meet various requirements to be admissible. These include a claimant’s legal interest; inclusion of necessary third parties to the claim; the claim’s subject matter must not be moot; there should not be an unreasonable delay in bringing the….

Provide the justifications and shortcomings of the rules on jurisdiction and admissibility in ICJ

Justifications for these rules abound. The principles of sovereign equality of all states, complementarity and subsidiarity, make it imperative that such rules are in place for efficient dispute settlement. They guard against forum shopping and harmonize national and international legal systems hence ensuring concurrency in the application of legal concepts. However, these rules have shortcomings too. As earlier mentioned, the Court’s jurisdiction hinges on the consent of involved parties. This requirement means that a…


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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