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Factbox: Five facts about the ICJ

  • Published at 07:07 pm December 10th, 2019
Photo: AFP

Here are some key facts about the court

The highest UN court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), begins hearing on a case filed by West African country The Gambia against Myanmar over the Rohingya genocide.

On 2007, ICJ cleared the Serbian state of direct responsibility for genocide in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war but said it had violated its responsibility to prevent genocide.

It was the first time a state has been tried for genocide, which was outlawed in 1948 after the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews.

Here are some key facts about the court:

1. The ICJ is the highest legal authority of the United Nations and was set up to resolve disputes between states and to give advisory opinions on questions of international law referred to it by UN bodies.

2. The ICJ is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. It began work in 1946 when it replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice which operated in The Hague from 1922 under the auspices of the League of Nations.

3. The court is made up of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly and Security Council. The president of the court is Britain’s Justice Rosalyn Higgins.

4. Since 1946 the court has delivered judgments on disputes ranging from land frontiers to hostage-taking and also has delivered advisory opinions.

5. It is separate from the recently established International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also based in The Hague and is the first permanent world tribunal for prosecuting individuals for war crimes, genocide and other human right violations.