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The ICJ: Will it be an option for the US?


Washington is not at all pleased that the International Court of Justice condemned some of its sanctions against Russia.

After Teheran argued that its position was based on the Bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Economic Relations and Consular Rights of 15 August 1955, Washington announced that it was denouncing that Treaty.

The Court is currently examining a set of pleadings from the Palestinian authority denouncing the illegal transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem. The basis for the complaint is founded on the UN plan for the division of Palestine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

It is not possible in this case to withdraw from a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly. Also, the National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has decided to curtail possibility that the ICJ has jurisdiction over the US by denouncing all its treaties authorizing recourse to the ICJ under the Vienna Convention’s Optional Protocol.

The International Court of Justice is the heir of the PCIJ - the Permanent Court of International Justice. The PCIJ was established by the Hague Conference of 1899. At the initiative of Tsar Nicolas II and the President of the French Radical Party, Léon Bourgeois, its mandate was to help states settle the disputes they had with one and other. Today the ICJ functions as the judicial arm of the UN. It should not be confused with international tribunals that also sit in the Hague.

Anoosha Boralessa

Voltaire Network

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