What is Kulbhushan Yadav’s case? What is the International Court of Justice? What are the qualifications of ICJ judges? Read here to know more.
In the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan violated its responsibilities under the Vienna Convention, according to International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf.
In his report to the 193-member General Assembly, Yusuf stated that the International Court of Justice “determined that Pakistan had violated its responsibilities under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that adequate remedies were required in this case” in its decision of July 17.
What is Kulbhushan Yadav Case?
- A retired Indian Navy officer named Kulbhushan Jadhav is said to have been detained by security forces in Pakistan. In 2016, he was detained in Balochistan, a troubled province of Pakistan.
- He is charged with inciting unrest in Balochistan, spying, and terrorism. He was given the death penalty by a Pakistani military court later in 2017.
- India recognised that Jadhav was an Indian national who had been abducted by Pakistani agents in Iran after leaving the Indian Navy on a business trip.
- India contacted the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is situated in The Hague, in May 2017, and it stopped Pakistan from killing Jadhav until the matter was resolved.
- The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 is an international treaty that defines a framework for consular relations between independent states.
- A consul typically works out of an embassy in another nation and serves two purposes: (1) advancing trade and economic ties between the two governments; and (2) safeguarding the interests of their compatriots in the host nation.
- Consular immunity is provided for by the treaty. 179 states have ratified the treaty. Although they are valued, advisory opinions are just consultative and are not legally binding.
Learn more about Important Judgements.
What is the International Court of Justice?
- ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
- It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
- Unlike the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (USA).
- In accordance with international law, it provides advisory opinions on legal matters that have been brought to it by recognised United Nations organs and specialised agencies. It also resolves legal disputes between States.
- It has 193 state parties and the current President is Ronny Abraham.
Composition of ICJ
- The ICJ is composed of 15 judges, who are elected to nine-year terms by the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- This is from a list of people nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- The Election process for the judges is set out in Articles 4-19 of the ICJ statute.
- Elections are staggered with 5 judges elected every 3 years to ensure continuity within the Court.
- In the event that a judge passes away while in office, it has typically been customary to hold a special election to choose a replacement judge.
- Further, no two judges may be nationals of the same country.
- The membership of the Court is meant to represent the world’s major civilizations and legal systems, according to Article 9. Common law, civil law, and communist law have essentially been intended by that.
- All geographical areas of the world are represented by the judges in the ICJ. This is only an informal understanding between nations and is not based on a formal rule.
- There are 5 seats available for western nations, 3 for African nations, 2 for Eastern European nations, 3 for Asian nations, and 2 for Latin American and Caribbean nations.
The 15 judges of the Court are distributed in the following regions:
- Three from Africa.
- Two from Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Three from Asia.
- Five from Western Europe and other states.
- Two from Eastern Europe.
Ad Hoc Judges
- Ad hoc judges are appointed to hear contentious cases before the Court according to the process outlined in Article 31. By using this approach, any party to a contested case may choose an additional judge to hear that case alone.
- It is thus possible that as many as 17 judges may sit on one case.
- To encourage States to present cases, the opportunity for Ad Hoc judges has been provided.
- A state would be more ready to submit to the Court’s jurisdiction if it is aware that it will have a judicial officer who can take part in the discussion and provide other judges with local expertise and an awareness of the state’s viewpoint.
- Despite the fact that this method conflicts with the body’s judicial nature, it usually has little practical impact.
- Ad Hoc judges usually vote in favour of the state that appointed them and thus cancel each other out.
What are the qualifications of ICJ judges?
- A judge should have a high moral character.
- A judge should fit the qualifications of the appointment of the highest judicial officers as prescribed by their respective states.
- A judge should be a jurisconsult of recognized competence in international law.
ICJ acts as a World Court and is the principal legal organ body of the UN. The court’s jurisdiction is two-fold:
- According to international law, the ICJ resolves legal problems that governments refer to it for resolution.
- The ICJ only accepts applications from and hearings from states. The court does not have the authority to hear cases brought by international organisations, foreign governments, or private parties.
- The criteria under which States may approach the Court are outlined in Article 35. It declares that the court is accessible to states that have ratified the Statute and are meant to limit access to the Court for those that have not joined the Statute.
- The Court can only deal with a dispute when the States concerned have recognized its jurisdiction.
- A formal request for an advisory opinion must be sent to the Registrar by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the director, or the Secretary-General of the body seeking the opinion.
- In urgent cases, the Court may take all appropriate measures to speed up the proceedings.
- The Court is granted the right to conduct both written and oral procedures in order to compile all the material required about the question put before it.
- The Court’s advisory opinions also have a lot of legal weight and moral authority despite having no binding effect. They frequently serve as a tool for preventive diplomacy and maintaining peace.
- It is also significant to remember that the member nations have ratified a number of conventions, including the Vienna Convention and the Geneva Convention.
Limitations of the International Court of Justice
- It lacks the authority to try anybody charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity. Because it is not a criminal court, it lacks a prosecutor who can begin proceedings.
- It differs from other courts in that the International Court of Justice cannot accept claims from individuals, unlike the courts that deal with allegations of violations of the human rights accords established under which they were established.
- The International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction is general, which sets it apart from specialised international tribunals like the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
- The Court does not serve as a court of last resort for people; it is not a Supreme Court that national courts can appeal to. It is also not a court of appeal for any international tribunal. But it has the authority to decide whether arbitral awards are genuine.
- Only when one or more States ask the Court to hear a case can it do so. It is unable to resolve a dispute on its own. Furthermore, it is prohibited by its Statute from looking into and adjudicating the actions of independent States.
- The ICJ only has jurisdiction based on consent, not compulsory jurisdiction.
Article Written by: Remya
Leave a Reply