ICJ de­ci­sions

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - MUNAZZA KHALID

In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice (ICJ) is the ju­di­cial body of the United Na­tions. It is con­sid­ered as United Na­tions’ spe­cialised agency which was es­tab­lished to pro­vide ju­di­cial as­sis­tance to the United Na­tions when re­quired, and a dis­pute set­tle­ment pro­ce­dure to states in solv­ing their dis­putes in ac­cor­dance to the in­ter­na­tional law. The core func­tion of In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice is to ful­fil the ju­di­cial re­quire­ments of states, and to solve those is­sues which are sub­mit­ted to it by the states. Be­side that, ICJ also tries to ac­com­plish var­i­ous types of tasks by giv­ing the opin­ion or rec­om­men­da­tions to Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, and to other UN agen­cies ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional law.

ICJ is re­spon­si­ble to set­tle dis­putes that may cre­ate a threat to the in­ter­na­tional peace. ICJ fol­lows var­i­ous prin­ci­ples, such as, all dis­putes must be set­tled or solved un­der the in­ter­na­tional law. An­other is re­lated to the equal­ity prin­ci­ple, ac­cord­ing to which states are given equal time, to elab­o­rate their writ­ten plead­ings, and states are treated equally be­fore law, with­out any dis­crim­i­na­tory be­hav­iour. A case to be re­ferred to ICJ re­quires the mu­tual con­sent of states con­cerned. Both par­ties to a dis­pute must agree or have mu­tual con­sen­sus for sub­mis­sion of case. The Court can only hear those cases which are sub­mit­ted by states, and court has no right to in­ter­fere in mat­ter of states with­out their con­sent.

In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice can con­trib­ute to the world peace and its de­ci­sions can bring change in the world but the main is­sue re­lated to the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice is that it has lim­ited ef­fec­tive­ness. This lim­i­ta­tion re­lates that the is­sues can only be sub­mit­ted to the Court if states bring them up to it, and state mu­tual con­sent is es­sen­tial in sub­mit­ting the case be­fore the Court. An­other is­sue is that its de­ci­sions are eas­ily ig­nored by the states.

The Court’s sig­nif­i­cance can­not be de­nied in present cen­tury. There­fore, it is the need of the time that this in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tion should have all the pow­ers and author­ity to play a mean­ing­ful role in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice by de­cid­ing and the is­sues and then get­ting them ex­e­cuted. The bind­ing mech­a­nism would be help­ful. To­day the court should look to its pre­vi­ous de­ci­sions and make an in­no­va­tive de­ci­sion mech­a­nism that help in re­solv­ing the up­com­ing dis­putes. The cur­rent cases of the court re­quire such a de­ci­sion which leads to the peace­ful set­tle­ment. It is not only the court re­spon­si­bil­ity to solve the is­sues among states, but it is also the states’ obli­ga­tion to re­spect and fol­low the courts de­ci­sions. Noth­ing comes sin­gle hand­edly and free of cost. If we want peace in the world, then for the restora­tion of this peace, we need equal con­tri­bu­tion. Mu­tual ef­forts are re­quired to make this world a par­adise. In this case states will also have to co­op­er­ate with the Court by ac­cept­ing its ju­ris­dic­tion. The ICJ can play its role per­fectly in the cre­ation of a non-vi­o­lent world. —Via email

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