International Court of Justice

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Who is the Final Interpreter in Human Rights: the ICJ v CERD?

In 2018 Qatar instituted proceedings against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court), alleging violations of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD or the Convention). In parallel inter-State proceedings the CERD Committee found in 2019 that it had jurisdiction to deal with the case. However, the ICJ upheld for its part in its judgment of 4 February 2021 the objection by the UAE against the Court’s jurisdiction. The disagreement between the ICJ and the CERD Committee centred on the proper interpretation of the term ‘national origin’ in art. 1(1) CERD. The ICJ’s judgment raises both methodological issues and challenges of substantive interpretation, see Desierto. But my focus is on whether the ICJ should approach the practice by UN human rights treaty bodies from a position of dialogue or superiority.

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A Study in Contrasting Jurisdictional Methodologies: The International Court of Justice’s February 2021 Judgments in Iran v. USA and Qatar v. UAE

The International Court of Justice issued two significant Decisions on Jurisdiction in early February: its 3 February 2021 Judgment in Iran v. United States (where the Court accepted jurisdiction over a dispute in which Iran alleged that the United States breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity between these two States) [hereafter, Iran v. US Judgment on Preliminary…

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The Curious Case of the ‘Legal Effect’ of ICJ Advisory Opinions in the Mauritius/Maldives Maritime Boundary Dispute

On Thursday 28 January, the ITLOS Special Chamber delivered its judgment on the admissibility of the Dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives). One of the key issues was the Maldives’ contention that the ongoing dispute between Mauritius and the UK over the Chagos Islands precluded the…

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Monitoring provisional measures at the International Court of Justice: the recent amendment to the Internal Judicial Practice

On 21 December 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced the adoption of a new Article 11 of its Internal Judicial Practice. The new text provides for the creation of an ad hoc committee where the Court orders provisional measures, with three judges, to assist the monitoring of their implementation. The ad hoc committee is meant to…

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ICJ Jurisdiction over Obligations to Share Information with the WHO

It has been almost a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and many parts of the world are still suffering deaths, disease, and lockdowns despite the advent of vaccines. Yet little has happened in terms of international responsibility, even if the blogosphere has produced…

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