Organization of ICJ

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Organization of International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Judges of ICJ
Article#2 of the ICJ statute states that; “The court shall be composed of a body of independent judges elected regardless of their nationality from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for the appointment of highest judicial offices.”

Further, Article#3 specifies the number of judges for the Apex Court and that is to be 15.

Election for Judges
Article#4 elucidates their election procedure which is to be held in UN General Assembly and Security Council simultaneously over the candidates mentioned in the list drafted by the national groups (each group can nominate 4 persons) present in Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Article#10 secures that the candidates gaining the absolute majority in both the organs of the UN shall be elected.

Duration of Office
Article#13 defines the duration of holding the office for each judge as nine years. It also clarifies that five judges will retire after every three years.

Oath of Elected Judges
Article#20 explains the oath of the elected judges; “Every member of the court before taking up his duties, makes a solemn declaration in open court that he will exercise his powers impartially and conscientiously.”

Dismissal of Judge
Article#18 notes that a judge may be dismissed with the unanimous opinion of other members that he has ceased to fulfill the required conditions.

Diplomatic Status of Judges of the Court
Article#19 quotes that, the members of the ICJ while engaged on the business of the court shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.

Ad-hoc Judges
In order to develop the confidence of the conflicting parties and to incite them to bring the case before the court the idea of ad-hoc judges has been introduced. Every party will have the right to have a judge of its nationality sitting in the court while its case is being decided. If a judge of the plaintiff’s of defendant’s nationality is not in the court, each may choose one for this purpose and they will be appointed as ad-hoc judges. Such judges also help in supplying with local knowledge and respective national point of view.

However, this system is often criticized that, an ad-hoc judge may act biased following the script of his government. Secondly, it often happens that the two ad-hoc judges give decision in favor of their respective states but this point can be rebutted in a way that votes thus cancel each other out.