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The Role Of International Court Of Justice (Icj) In The Settlement Of Disputes Between States




Article 1 of the United Nations charter states that its purposes are to maintain International Peace and security, and to that end, to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threat to peace and the suppression of acts of aggression….. adjustment or settlement of international dispute or situations which might lead to the Bridge of Peace. In furtherance of this pursuit of peace, the international court of justice (ICJ) was established under the charter of the United Nations as its principal judicial organ and according to Article 1,”shall be constituted and shall function in accordance with provisions of presence statute”. This study attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of the role of international court of justice as the principal organ of the United Nations (UN) in resolving disputes between nations. It considers the contribution of the ICJ towards UN and concludes that although ICJ contribution has been significant, many practical and theoretical issues respecting it’s roles remain unsettled. The study proceeds as follows: Chapter 1&2 focuses on the history of the concepts, development of the notion of International Organizations, the establishment of UN and ICJ. Chapter 3 concentrates on the relationship between United Nations and international court of justice and as well the composition and organization of the court (ICJ). Chapter 4 focuses on the assessment of the court (ICJ) with regards to is maintenance of Justice among member nations over the years and also some limitations which have affected the performance. The object of the study is to create a greater awareness of the world court among readers as well as acts as a source of information for research in the field of study.





It is accepted that international law governs the relationship among Nations and other subjects of international law. Argument concerning the settlement of disputes between nations in international law remains ongoing among scholars. The role of International Court of Justice in settlement of dispute in international law is another subject of debate. Every legal system targets to settle dispute and as well dispense justice to its subject by setting up machinery to that effect. The International Court of Justice is a legal machinery recognized by international community as a key factor in the dispensation of Justice. The study of the role of International Court of Justice (ICJ) in settlement of dispute between Nations is an important aspect of international law and international relations. The ICJ also known as the world court, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN) and is tasked with settling legal disputes between states.

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The background of the study can be traced back to the establishment of the ICJ in 1945, under the UN charter. The court is composed of 15 Judges who are elected by UN general Assembly and Security Council for nine-years term. The ICJ primary function is to resolve disputes submitted to it by states through contentious cases and advisory opinion. This work will examine the history, establishment aims and even functions of International Court of Justice1. It will also analyze the types of disputes that ICJ has dealt with over the years.

Over the years, the International Court of Justice has been faced with several obstacles which has challenged its role of settlement of disputes and dispensation of Justice in the world. The need arises from eradication of these obstacles and suggestions preferred to help achieve its objectives. These challenges will be exposed as well in these work as they would enable us suggest opinions that will help the development and improvement in disputes settlement by International Court of Justice (ICJ)2.


Despite the establishment of the ICJ as the principal judicial organs of the United Nations and its mandate to settle legal disputes between States, challenges and limitations persists in its effectiveness and the overall impact of his decision and resolving disputes between member states. This study discovers that due to certain advantageous factors, chances of mountain a successful comprehensive system are minimal. The problem is caused by certain legal and factual questions which

(1). Shaw M.N.’the International Court of Justice.A practice perspective , International   and comparative Law Quaterly October 1997,Vol.46 pt,4pp.831-865

(2). See Ct .Holds Worth.A history of Englisn.Law,London 1924.


include its jurisdiction and other factors like the role of dominant world power in the international  community, procedural problems coupled with its defect3. Looking at the frantic effort the International Court of Justice has put up over the years, one May conclude that the International Court of Justice is not a toothless bulldog in the settlement of disputes and administration of justice in international law. But recent trends and developments have exposed loopholes in this dispute settlement by International Courts and suggestions which will be explained so well in the work.


The objective of studying the role of international Court of Justice (ICJ) in the settlement of disputes between States is to understand the functions and significance of this principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The ICJ plays a crucial role in peaceful resolution of international conflict and serves as a forum for States to seek legal remedies and clarify their rights under International Law. The ICJ has the jurisdiction to hear cases between states that have accepted its jurisdiction as well as to enforce it by its specialized agencies and certain intergovernmental organizations. Studying ICJ helps in understanding the scope and limitations of its jurisdictions. Also the study of the role of ICJ helps in the

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(3)Federick E Synyder .Third World attitude Towards International law. An introduction

Understanding of how the principle of International Laws are applied and interpreted in the context of dispute settlement. By examining past cases and their outcomes  one can assess the effectiveness of ICJ’s decision in settling dispute and promoting international peace and security. Finally, the overall study of the role of ICJ in the settlement of disputes between States contribute to a better understanding of international law, the promotion of peaceful resolution of conflicts and function of international legal order.


The scope of the study is confined to exposing how dispute is settled between Nations and International Law. It is true that in any legal system respect and protection of human Rights which is the basic requirements of a democratic society cannot be fully guaranteed without the availability of effective judicial organs for enforcement and administration of justice in settlement of disputes. The effective administration of justice in this settlement will ensure that the rule of law is upheld. The study of the role of International Court of Justice (ICJ) in dispute settlement between nations is a significant area of international law and political science. It encompasses the examination of the ICJ’s mandates, jurisdiction, procedures, and the impact of its decision on international relations. The scope of this study includes several key aspects;

 Mandate and jurisdiction:

Understanding the ICJ’s mandates is crucial. It is the principal judicial organ of United Nations and has the authority to settle legal dispute submitted by states. Its jurisdictions covers a wide range of issues including territorial disputes, maritime boundaries, human rights, treaty interpretation, state responsibility, international responsibility and international law violation.

Dispute settlement mechanism:

Studying the ICJ involves exploring the various method by which dispute can be brought before the court. These include examining the role of consent, compulsory jurisdiction, advisory opinions and additional limitations imposed by reservations and declarations.

Procedure and case law:

Analyzing the ICJ’s procedures provides insights into the Court functions. This involves studying the stages of the judicial process, including the submission of written pleading, oral arguments, the role of amicus curiae, evidence and judgments. Additionally, examining the court’s case provides valuable insights into its approach to dispute resolution, legal reasoning and the development of international law.

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Impact on International Relation:

The study of the ICJ’s role in dispute settlement also entails assessing its impact international relations. This includes examining how States receive the court decision, comply with its judgments and use the court strategically to advance their interests. Furthermore, evaluating the court’s contribution to the development and clarification of international law is a vital aspect of analysis.

Critique and Challenges:

A comprehensive study of the ICJ’s role must also consider the critiques and challenges it faces. Scholars analyze the court’s effectiveness, its perceived biases, the limitations of his jurisdiction, compliance issues and the challenges it encounters in resolving complex disputes involving powerful state and non-state actors.

Lastly, the scope of this work will show that adequate settlement of disputes in international law cannot be achieved if certain obstacles faced in the international Court of Justice are not properly attended to. International Court of Justice is a legal organ in the dispensation of Justice in international law.


International community will find this work as a veritable instrument in its bid to ensure that Justice is done when settling dispute between states in the international law. It will also be significant to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) both in procedural and substantive dispensation of Justice in its settlement of disputes between nations. This is because this work shall be revealing the challenges that is facing and hindering the settlement of disputes in International Court of Justice. This shall be done in the hope that the international community shall in the course of its future developments see reasons to make use of certain suggestions which this work will expose. Finally, the study of the ICJ’s role in the settlement of dispute is significant as it promotes the rule of law contributes to international peace and security, develops international legal principles facilitate dispute resolution, promotes human rights, enhance international order, and provides valuable insights for academia and policy makers.


This study will adopt a doctrinal approach. Much importance will be laid on library material such as textbooks, dictionaries, law reports, statutory provisions and even internet materials. The secondary method of data collection will be made use of and available literatures will be exposed so well as to show what has been done in the world.

Pages:  86

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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