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The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice / The Hague

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It is the principal judicial organ of the UN. It was established in June 1945 by the United Nations Charter.

The Court has its seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of six principal organs of the United Nations not to have its headquarters in New York.

The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

The court consists of fifteen judges who are elected for a term of nine years jointly by the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations.

Five members of the Court are elected every three years. The judges can be reelected.

The elections are held in New York during the annual autumn session of the General Assembly. New members of the Court take office on 6 February, the year following their election.

The Court is assisted by the Registry, its administrative body. Its official languages are French and English.

Mr. Hisashi Owada, a Japanese national, has been the President of the Court since 6 February 2009.

The French member of the Court is Mr. Ronny Abraham, a member of the Court since 2005. A Professor of International Law, Mr. Abraham was the Director of Legal Affairs, at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2005.

The International Court of Justice presents an annual activity report to the Security Council and the General Assembly. The last presentation took place on 29 October 2009. The ICJ Reports are available on the official website of the ICJ.

(November 2009)

Useful links

- Link to the ICJ website

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU