A court at The Hague, consisting of fifteen judges elected for nine‐year terms of office, that has power to determine disputes relating to international law. It was set up by the United Nations in succession to the Permanent Court of International Justice, and all members of the UN are automatically parties to the Statute of the Court. No state may be brought before the Court in contentious proceedings unless it has accepted its jurisdiction, either by agreement in a particular case or by recognition of the authority of the Court in general, in respect of any dispute with another state accepting the general jurisdiction of the Court (the principle of reciprocity). The Court may also give advisory opinions, which do not bind the parties but are of great persuasive authority.
Subjects: international law.