International court of justice (ICJ) commonly referred to as world court was set up in 1945 under the United Nations act. It is not the first world court as the name may suggest but it was established as the successor of permanent international court of justice. It deals mainly with international issues such as settling disputes between countries and it uses a constitution that is recognized internationally in carrying out its activities. Initially it was not effective since many countries had not registered and accepted the laws and rules binding to this statute. Currently ICJ is the Supreme Court and all the countries in the world are suppose to be part of the council so that arising disputes can be solved amicably (Schwebel,1987).
The court consist of fifteen judges all elected from the council members and on merit. In an event of presenting a case all the judges must be present at every seating so that they can get full knowledge of the case and handle it professionally. When two or more countries have disputes the ICJ gives out a binding ruling to the states that are members. Non members, UN, corporations and individuals are not allowed to witness but once in a while the court may source information from the public groups (Schwebel, 1987). In controversial cases jurisdiction matters a lot and the judges need to be very precise and accurate. Article 36 of the statute act outlines four concepts to be followed during a jurisdiction; the first is that it allows members to take their cases to the ICJ. This is very important because it binds the two countries in dispute and gives the court full authority to settle the dispute in the best ruling possible. The second is that it gives the court the authority over cases on compromiser clause. Such issues are not so successful since the states may not concur with the judgment and may withdraw their case without questioning. The article also allows the state elective declaration and takes in the courts’ jurisdiction. With the acceptance and involvement by the third world countries this has boost the ICJ authority and confidence in handling disputes (Schwebel, 1987).
For all this reasons the ICJ is the supreme authority. They have powers to pass judgment according to their findings and their ruling is final. The cases under ICJ follow a well lied procedure and no short cuts whatsoever while dealing with international cases. The applicant is usually the first to present the case after which the respondent may write a claim whether to accept or reject. If one party rejects the case then the judgment will not proceed but if it’s accepted then the applicant can seek an order permitting the case to continue. This is where the similarity occurs to the US courts. You first need to request the respondent to accept the claim then the case can proceed.
Advisory opinion is the role of the court but is restricted to only United Nation agencies. On receiving a dispute the court investigate and decide which state can give those data pertaining the case and can give them authority to present the same. When faced by a difficult situation the advisory opinion are of great help as the over background backup information leading to fair handling of the case (Schwebel, 1987).
Schwebel, S. (1987). Chambers of the International Court of Justice; American Journal of International Law, New York: Associated press.