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United Nations: An Introduction

This LibGuide was created for the purpose of providing users with a basic understanding of the United Nations, its structure, and to provide users with access to resources available online and at FIU’s Green Library.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice is the principal juridical organ of the United Nations. It is the only main UN organ located outside New York - its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague, the Netherlands.

Functions of the Court

The Court has a twofold function:

  1. the settlement of disputes between states on the basis of international law.  
  2. the delivery of advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of specifically authorized international organs.

It is to be noted that, according to its Statute, art.34(1), the International Court of Justice has jurisdiction only over disputes between states, not over individual guilt or innocence for violations of international codes of conduct.  


The Court is composed of 15 permanent judges from different parts of the world. They are elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council for a term of nine years.

Every three years, five judges are elected. They hold their position in their personal capacity, although there have been geopolitical considerations. In fact, four of five of the permanent members of the Security Council have had a judge in the Court.

Research topics include legal and criminal justice as well as public administration.

(Information taken from Dag Hammarskjold Library guide to International Court of Justice).



More on ICJ in the research guide by the Dag Hammarskjöld library (New York).


(Information taken from Dag Hammarskjold Library guide to International Court of Justice).