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United Nations: International Court of Justice

Materials from the International Court of Justice

The UN's International Court of Justice issues both:

  • Judgments in contentious cases, resolving disputes between two states. The ICJ can only hear cases involving states that have accepted the ICJ's jurisdiction, either by agreeing to submit the specific dispute to the ICJ or by ratifying a treaty which specifies that disputes under the treaty will be submitted to the ICJ.
  • Advisory opinions, advising other UN bodies on legal principles.  As explained by the ICJ's website, "[t]he United Nations General Assembly and Security Council may request advisory opinions on 'any legal question'. Other United Nations organs and specialized agencies which have been authorized to seek advisory opinions can only do so with respect to 'legal questions arising within the scope of their activities'."

Just like a domestic court, the ICJ also issues other orders along its way to the final judgment, such as rulings on its jurisdiction to hear the case, requests for extensions of time, and requests by other parties to intervene in the case. 

Generally, the best choices for researching ICJ cases are the ICJ's website and Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL):

Additionally, both Lexis and Westlaw allow complex terms and connectors searching of ICJ materials:

The traditional print sources of ICJ materials are also available at the library and scanned on HeinOnline:

The traditional print digests used to look up ICJ cases by subject are also available at the library:

Books on the International Court of Justice

Below are particularly recent and significant books on the International Court of Justice. For more books, search the library catalog for SUBJECT: International Court of Justice.

Other International Court of Justice Materials