International Court of Justice

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Casual Vacancies in the ICJ: Law, Practice, and Policy

The irredeemable loss of Judge Antonio Cançado Trindade has triggered a casual election in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), that will take place in November. This election will be contested, since there are now three candidates for the position: Marcelo Kohen (Argentinian national), Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant and Paulo Borba Casella (both of whom are Brazilian nationals). Any election at the ICJ arouses passions and triggers legal analysis as to the practice for the selection of judges and its implications. This blog has regularly published analysis on legal issues that emerge in the context of such elections (see for example, here, here and here). This post will focus on the practice in casual elections concerning the replacement of judges from a non-permanent member of the Security Council (SC) (non-P5 member). In a post from 2021 Antonios Tzanakopoulos sought to dispel the notion that there is an expectation that a casual vacancy of a judge from a non-P5 member should result in the election of a…

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The New Wave of Article 63 Interventions at the International Court of Justice

Recent developments in the Ukraine v. Russia case at the International Court of Justice may force the Court to address head-on an important point of procedure relating to intervention pursuant to Article 63 of the Court’s Statute. The Court’s Statute in Articles 62 and 63 provides two separate devices to States wishing to intervene.

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Violations of Sovereign Rights at a Foreign EEZ: Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)

On 21 April 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered judgment in the Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) case. Nicaragua instituted proceedings against Colombia regarding, among others, (1) Colombia’s interference with fishing and marine scientific research (MSR) activities of Nicaraguan-flagged or Nicaraguan-licensed vessels in Nicaragua’s EEZ…

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Who Has Effective Control in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh Region?

Following the so-called “44-Day War” between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late 2020, the conflicting parties continue several legal battles before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), alleging various violations of international law. The war saw Azerbaijan liberate a significant part of its territories under Armenia’s three-decade-long occupation,…

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Mass Intervention?: The Joint Statement of 41 States on Ukraine v. Russia

On 20 May 2022, 41 states and the EU issued a Joint Statement regarding the pending ICJ proceedings in Ukraine v. Russia. The Joint Statement indicates that the signatories agree “to explore all options to support Ukraine in its efforts before the ICJ and to consider a possible intervention in these proceedings”. One of the signatories, Romania, had…

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