The failure of the League of Nations to prevent the Second World War necessitated the creation of the United Nations, in an attempt to prevent a reoccurrence of the kind of carnage that manifested during the war. The International Court of Justice and other institutions were, thus, created under the United Nations Charter to guarantee world peace. The International Court of Justice was created as the judicial arm of the United Nations to replace the Permanent Court of International Justice operating under the defunct League of Nations. Members of the United Nations are, by the United Nations Charter, automatic signatories to the International Court of Justice Statute. The Court serves as avenue for States to ventilate their grievances in the event of any dispute arising between them. However, the Court is limited in its exercise of adjudicatory powers over matters between States, unless they submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court. Also, the political power tussle between permanent members of the Security Council has, on several instances, undermined the efforts of the International Court of Justice to ensure peaceful resolution of conflicts between States. This paper contends that unless these issues are effectively resolved, the role of the International Court of Justice in ensuring global peace may become elusive. Also, the politicisation of international law by States would suggest that other pacific measures of settling international dispute, such as: mediation, conciliation and arbitration, should be given more consideration, as a sole resort to litigation could overwhelm the International Court of Justice.
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This includes the General Assembly to some extent. See, Articles 11, 13 and 14 UN Charter.
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The preamble of the Rules provides: The Court, Having regard to Chapter XIV of the Charter of the United Nations; Having regard to the Statute of the Court annexed thereto; Acting in pursuance of Article 30 of the Statute; Adopts the following revised Rules of Court, approved on 14 April 1978, which shall come into force on 1 July 1978, and shall as from that date replace the Rules adopted by the Court on 6 May 1946 and amended on 10 May 1972, save in respect of any case submitted to the Court before 1 July 1978, or any phase of such a case, which shall continue to be governed by the Rules in force before that date.
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An example could be borrowed from Article 26 of the European Convention on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes 1957 which provides to the effect that: where there are no available rule of international law on a matter, ex aequo et bono could be called in aid.
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Article 36 provides thus: 1. The jurisdiction of the Court comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in treaties and conventions in force. 2. The states parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other state accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes concerning: a. the interpretation of a treaty; b. any question of international law; c. the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation; d. the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation. 3. The declarations referred to above may be made unconditionally or on condition of reciprocity on the part of several or certain states, or for a certain time. 4. Such declarations shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the parties to the Statute and to the Registrar of the Court. 5. Declarations made under Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and which are still in force shall be deemed, as between the parties to the present Statute, to be acceptances of the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice for the period which they still have to run and in accordance with their terms. 6. In the event of a dispute as to whether the Court has jurisdiction, the matter shall be settled by the decision of the Court.
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It is also referred to as optional clause.
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It is also known as provisional measures and herein used interchangeably.
See, Article 94 (2) UN Charter which provides to the effect that: If any party to a case fails to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgment rendered by the Court, the other party may have recourse to the Security Council, which may, if it deems necessary, make recommendations or decide upon measures to be taken to give effect to the judgment.
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In another case, The Frontier Dispute between Burkina Faso and Mali in 1985, the court made an order for provisional measures for both parties to strictly comply with cease fire directives, which was later complied with by both parties.
The ICJ also made order for interim measures in the Frontier Dispute, Provisional Measures, Order of January 10, 1986 (Burkina Faso v Mali Case)  ICJ Rep 3.
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The agreement is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action 2015, based on the Iranian nuclear programme signed on 14 July, 2015 between Iran, UK, USA, France, China, Russia, Germany and European Union.
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Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Provisional Measures, Order of 8 March 2011, ICJ Reports 2011 (I), pp. 27–28, para. 86.
Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Compensation, Judgment, ICJ Reports 2018, pp. 15, 47, para. 156.
LaGrand (Germany v. United States of America), Judgment, ICJ Reports 2001, p. 506, para. 109.
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Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda)  ICJ Rep 168, 251, para 244.
Article 59 ICJ Statute.
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Some authors have suggested that the consent precondition should not apply in cases where the rules which the respondent is alleged to have violated have the status of jus cogens (peremptory rules possessing a higher legal status than the ordinary rules of law) or create obligations erga omnes (i.e., obligation owed to the whole global community and not just on a State to- State basis). The Court has acknowledged that some rules have one or both of these characteristics, but has maintained that the character of the rule which is alleged to have been violated is not relevant to the entirely separate question of whether the Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon those allegations. See, C Greenwood, supra note 91.
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Herbert, E.B. The role of the international court of justice in actualising global peace. Indian Journal of International Law (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40901-020-00121-0
- International court of justice
- United nations
- Security council
- Global peace