The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the main judicial organ of the UN.It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).

The Court’s role is 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 authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. The Court decides disputes between countries, based on the voluntary participation of the States concerned. If a State agrees to participate in a proceeding, it is obligated to comply with the Court’s decision.

The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. The Court may not include more than one national of the same State.  Moreover, the Court as a whole must represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world. These organs vote simultaneously but separately.  In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.  This sometimes makes it necessary for a number of rounds of voting to be carried out. In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years.  Judges are eligible for re-election.  Should a judge die or resign during his or her term of office, a special election is held as soon as possible to choose a judge to fill the unexpired part of the term.

The Court may entertain two types of cases: legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by United Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory proceedings).

The Court has two functions:

To settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted by States, and

To give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies. Judgments delivered by the Court (or by one of its Chambers) in disputes between States are binding upon the parties concerned.Judgments are final and without appeal.

INDIA AND ICJ – Historical Underpinnings

Election of an Indian to ICJ :-

B.N RAO became the first Indian to be elected to ICJ in 1951.Nagendra Singh being the second,Justice Dalvir Bhandari recently elected as the Judge at ICJ for second consecutive term of 9 years.

  • Verdicts of icj involving India

In 1955,a petition was filed by Marshall Islands against nations involve din nuclear deterrence including India.

India first approached ICJ in 1971 over an incident involvement diversion of Indian Aircraft to Pakistan,which eventually led Pakistan to ban Indian flights flying over its territory.

Pakistan dragged India to ICJ concerning Pakistani prisoners of war whom,according to Pakistan ,India proposed to hand over to Bangladesh which was intend trying them for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

In 2000,Pakistan again pulled India over to ICJ for the Indian Air Force allegedly shooting down a Pakistan Reconnaissance Aircraft.

In 2017,happened the infamous Kulbhushan Jadhav Case.The proceedings of the same are still pending before the court .

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