Chapter

Jurisdiction at the International Court of Justice Speech to the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the General Assembly 31 October 2008

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.003.0112
Jurisdiction at the International Court of Justice Speech to the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the General Assembly 31 October 2008

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Virtually all the great international institutions of the world have, as a concomitant of membership, the obligation to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court of that institution. But membership in the United Nations does not carry this obligation. Referral of disputes to its primary judicial organ is optional, and based upon the consent of both parties. This requirement of mutual consent in each and every case has necessarily meant that the International Court of Justice is too often examining objections to its own jurisdiction, rather than addressing the serious problems at issue. Consent given under the Optional Clause is invariably accompanied by reservations that need to be interpreted by the Court. Some 300 bilateral or multilateral treaties provide for the Court to have jurisdiction in the resolution of disputes arising out of their application or interpretation. Forum prorogatum, long thought a dead letter in the textbooks on jurisdiction, has, at the time of writing, recently been invoked twice before the Court.

Keywords: International Court of Justice; United Nations; jurisdiction; consent; Optional Clause; treaties; forum prorogatum

Chapter.  3694 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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