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Law; The World Court.doc

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 3201F/G
Dan Bousfield

THE WORLD COURT - ICJ •mega politics - these are issues that courts are deciding that are deeply political and judges have right jurisdiction to decide them importance of theocracy, more and more states are docking religion as part • of their constitutions •Article 92 - principle judicial organ • - not a supreme court • - states must submit to ruling, jurisdiction to court over those decisions is part of the discussion - compulsory jurisdiction is rare, most states restrict effectiveness of • jurisdiction • - no overriding authority to interpret the law •HISTORY • - creatd with original members in 1948 • - treaty and acceptance = compulsory - - originally an arbitrative body, costs born by disputing states, appointing • arbitrator • - - standing body created with league in official expenses (hoped to have full jurisdiction over members - too much for a new body) •STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION • - 15 judges elected by SC and GA for 9 years - staggered 3 years terms • • - required impartiality and different nationality • - UN pays salaries, based at Hague, president directs, registrar administers • - non-national judges can be chosen ad hoc • - - national judges often vote against their state • - - ad hoc judges usually support promoted countries PROCEDURES • • - primarily regulated by statute • - practice directions for interpreting statues • - - follow previous precedurs and rules of prior league bodies • - states initiate in agreement, or one against another • - - aritten arguments, hearing two rounds - - hearsay rejected and state officials treated with skepticism • • - - burden of proof rests on country asserting claim • - not required to but can debate existence of law • - majority vote with President as tiebreaker •JURISDICTION • - treaty based institution - - broader foundation than parties in dispute • • - - interpret basis of treaty - serves as foundation for rest of treaty signatories • - no cases agianst non-state actors and non-signatories • - non-signatories can access court in special circumstances • - court's judgment is final and without appeal PROBLEM OF UNILATERALISM • • - applications made unilaterally must involve existing consent by other party • - - applications must include information to best of knowledge - - potential for abuse closed in 1978, consent must be forthcoming in • cases where jurisdiction unclear • - optional clause - states can assert inclusion under the court for various reasons and specify reservations as well •COURT IS REALLY A BILATERAL INSTITUTION •- complex web of bilateral assertions of jurisdiction - preliminary rulings in an ongoing case are binding • • - - ICJ can rule on bindingness of rulings •- - importance of language • - reservations complicated by American Connally Reservatio
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