International Court of Justice

The ICJ; also known as the World Court, is the successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) and was formed in 1946. After the second world war, the PCIJ was declining in its level of activity and it was replaced by the ICJ. The world court is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and it is responsible for settling conflicts between states and giving advice on international legality issues.

The court comprises 15  judges who are elected for 9 years by the General Assembly and Security Council. Once a judge is elected, they cannot represent their native country and no two judges may be nationals of the same country. The election process as detailed out in Articles 4-19 of the ICJ Statute states; For a candidate to be elected as a judge they must achieve an absolute majority of votes in both the above-mentioned bodies. Moreover, one-third of the committee is elected every three years to maintain relevance and a degree of continuity with the court. 

Should a judge expire while still in office, a new judge will be elected in a special election to complete the term. According to Article 9, the membership of the court is supposed to represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world, therefore these judges should be of high moral character as well as being thoroughly aware of all aspects of international law.

Judges may deliver joint judgments or give their own separate opinions. Decisions and advisory opinions are passed by the majority. In the event of an equal division, the President’s vote becomes decisive.

The ICJ deals with two types of cases;

o Legal disputes – The ICJ produces a binding ruling between states that agree to abide by the ruling of the court. Only states are allowed to in contentious cases. Individuals, corporations, parts of a federal state, NGOs, UN organs, etc. are excluded from direct participation in cases. 

o  Requests for advisory opinions on legal questions – The UN Charter grants the General Assembly or the Security Council the authority to request the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on legal questions. Advisory opinions are used as a method by which UN agencies could seek the court’s support in deciding complicated legalities involving their respective mandates.

ICJ at SLMUN 2020 will compromise of a maximum number of 25 participants including,

o 15 judges

o 1 claimant

o 1 respondent

o  Other interested parties – Any interested party shall be any party that is directly or indirectly afflicted by the final judgment passed by the court or has a substantial interest over the contentious material of the case.

The goal of implementing ICJ at SLMUN 2020 is to give delegates a chance at experiencing international court procedures and get insight into the mandate concerning international justice. Delegates will get the opportunity to fulfill the roles of judges and be able to weigh in on important decisions concerning various issues that fall under international law. Characteristics such as impartiality, morality, open-mindedness and firmness are key features in a judge. Therefore delegates are required to rise to the occasion and exhibit these values when dealing with matters of the court while exhibiting proper knowledge on international law. In conclusion, ICJ at SLMUN 2020 is guaranteed to be a bustling committee that will allow delegates to experience a new component of the united nations and widen their overall MUN experience.