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Current Affairs

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Date: 02 March 2022 Tags: International Organizations


A case has been filed against Russian federation by Ukraine at the ICJ for failing to follow the “Genocide Convention”.



The issue is regarding interpretation, application and fulfillment of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.



  • Ukraine has accused Russia of falsely implying that genocide has occurred in Luhansk and Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

  • It further says that this reason was used by Russia for recognising the independence of these regions and going to war against Ukraine.



  • The International Court of Justice is United Nation’s principal judicial organ. It was established under the Charter of the United Nations in 1945.

  • The ICJ succeeds Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established by the League of Nations. It is located at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherland.

  • The first case in ICJ was brought by the UK against Albania regarding the Corfu Channel, which is located between Albania and Greek island of Corfu.


Role and functions

  • The main functions of the body is to settle legal disputes submitted to it by States in accordance with international law and give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies.

  • English and French are the official languages of the ICJ. The judges are assisted by a Registry, the administrative organ of the ICJ.



All UN members automatically become party to ICJ statute. However, ICJ can get jurisdiction only if both parties consent to it.


Significance of judgment

  • The decision of ICJ is final and technically binding on the parties to a case. There are no appeals. Revision is allowed after discovery of new fact.

  • There is no mechanism to ensure compliance of its orders. Their powers are derived from the willingness of parties to abide by the decisions.


Judges of ICJ

  • There are 15 judges who served for a term of nine years. They are elected by the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

  • For getting elected to ICJ, the judge must receive a majority of the votes in both bodies. This necessitates multiple rounds of voting.


Indian judges

Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been serving as a judge at the ICJ since 2012. Previously, Justice R S Pathak, former Chief Election Commissioner of India Nagendra Singh and Sir BN Rau have served at the ICJ.