New York City, 15 November 2021 (TDI): Registrar at International court of Justice (ICJ), Philippe Gautier gave an interview to UN News.
He urged countries to choose peace over conflict. Moreover, He mentioned that states need to approach the Court to settle a dispute rather than choosing armed conflict.
Belgian jurist, Philippe Gautier became ICJ Registrar on August 1, 2019. Moreover, He is Elected for a seven-year term. He recently visited UN headquarters in New York. He gave an exclusive in-depth interview to UN News.
International Court of Justice
In 1945 International Court of justice (ICJ) Was established. It is a judicial organ under the UN. The body of the court is comprised of fifteen judges. This court has a dual mission. It settles the disputes of nations in accordance with international law. States submit These disputes of legal nature. Moreover, it also gives advisory opinions on legal questions submitted.
UN and COVID19 Pandemic
ICJ Registrar, Philippe Gautier mentioned ICJ adopted information technology during the pandemic. Electronic platforms were used to organize The meetings. thereafter, hearings could be organized first with video links only. After a while, a hybrid meeting method was adopted.
ICJ Registrar: Court is functioning in an efficient manner
Philippe Gautier explained the function of the court and said that the Court and the Registry are functioning in a very efficient manner for the past two years. However, there are three points ICJ needs to focus on: the staff, the budget, and the building.
In staff matters, he was of the view that there is a need to show about the rules apply to everybody in the same manner. Moreover, there is a need for simplified methods to resolve disputes.
Like many courts of the world, ICJ is no different in pending cases. Philippe explained about the currently pending cases and there are 15 of them.
Philippe Gautier mentioned that the first delimitation for ICJ is related to the maritime or land boundary. This is a sensitive matter. He has shared that there are five cases in this portfolio for delimitation of maritime boundary or land boundary. For example Nicaragua v. Colombia, two cases; Equatorial Guinea v. Gabon, Guatemala v. Belize, Guyana v. Venezuela.
Moreover, ICJ Registrar mentioned Human rights which is one of the important filed of international law covered by the institution. For instance, in two recent cases, Armenia v. Azerbaijan. It is related to the Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. Along with the case between Ukraine and Russia, related to this Convention and also the Convention on the prohibition of the financing of terrorism. Moreover, Gambia versus Myanmar is a case concerning the alleged violation of the Convention against genocide.
The case Between Chile and Bolivia is an issue relating to the use of an international watercourse. Moreover, there is a pending case concerning the construction of a dam between Hungary and Slovakia. ICJ has over the years played an important role in resolving disputes on water. In case of India and Pakistan, ICJ played an important role.
There is also a case concerning the interpretation of a bilateral convention. It concerns Iran and the United States. This is an important function of ICJ to resolve such important bilateral disputes and help them to avoid any conflict in emerging.
A case concerning diplomatic relations. It is related to the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. It is a case brought by Palestine against the United States. Related to diplomatic disputes and issues, ICJ is playing again an important role specially when there is a requirement to settle according to the international laws and conventions.
The last one, there is a case of reparation in the aftermath of an armed conflict. That’s a case between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) versus Uganda. The Court already delivered that Uganda was liable. It is because of a breach of international law. the next phase will determine the amount of compensation.
Choose peace over conflict
ICJ Registrar mentioned ICJ is a forum for the settlement of peaceful disputes. He urges countries to go into ICJ to settle disputes peacefully instead of waging a war. Moreover, he mentioned ICJ celebrated 75 anniversary. There are two films on the website of ICJ. One is a virtual visit. it gives an insight. Moreover, there is a film of 12 minutes explaining what ICJ is doing.