International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), settles disputes between sovereign states in accordance with international law (contentious). The Court also gives advisory opinions (advisory) on international legal issues. The ICJ is considered the highest court in the world – the World Court – and is the only international court that adjudicates general disputes between countries.

The ICJ consists of 15 justices elected by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council for nine-year terms. No more than one justice of each nationality may be represented on the court at the same time, as the justices collectively reflect the fundamental civilization and legal systems of the world.

Since its inception in 1947, the International Court of Justice has heard 183 cases.