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International Law
and the ICJ
The Political Effectiveness of the United
Nations, 1945-2000
Syllabus
What is International Law?
 International law:
 Public international law
 Set of principles, customs, and rules that
go...
What is International Law?
 Much of it is consent-based:
 E.g. Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
(1997)
Jus Cogens = norm...
What is International Law?
 No governmental police or military force to
enforce it (major difference between
internationa...
The International Court of
Justice
 Functions:
 Provide non-binding advisory opinions on
legal issues submitted to it by...
The International Court of
Justice
 Contentious cases
 If parties do not comply with the ICJ’s ruling,
the issue may be ...
The International Court of
Justice
 Limitations on effectiveness
 Issues can only be tried by ICJ if states bring
them u...
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The ICJ

  1. 1. International Law and the ICJ The Political Effectiveness of the United Nations, 1945-2000
  2. 2. Syllabus
  3. 3. What is International Law?  International law:  Public international law  Set of principles, customs, and rules that governs relations between states  Private international law  Regulates relations between private persons of different nationalities
  4. 4. What is International Law?  Much of it is consent-based:  E.g. Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change (1997) Jus Cogens = norms of international law that must be followed, even if no consent is given  E.g. Prohibition on genocide, torture, human trafficking, etc.
  5. 5. What is International Law?  No governmental police or military force to enforce it (major difference between international and domestic law):  No central authority ≠ no mechanisms to ensure compliance  E.g. Reputation, counter-measures, UNSC, etc.
  6. 6. The International Court of Justice  Functions:  Provide non-binding advisory opinions on legal issues submitted to it by UN bodies and agencies, e.g. GA and SC  Settle disputes submitted to it by states, who must agree to its binding ruling (contentious cases)
  7. 7. The International Court of Justice  Contentious cases  If parties do not comply with the ICJ’s ruling, the issue may be taken before the SC for enforcement action (if international security is at stake)  What if the non-compliant party is a SC permanent member?  E.g. Nicaragua v. United States case
  8. 8. The International Court of Justice  Limitations on effectiveness  Issues can only be tried by ICJ if states bring them up to it  ICJ’s decisions can be ignored by states
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