The ICJ 1945-2001: Empirical Findings about its Performance and Recommendations for an Improvement of its Efficiency

Müller, Erwin; Schneider, Patricia
September 2007
Review of International Law & Politics;2007, Vol. 3 Issue 11, p71
Academic Journal
The article is written from a sociological perspective applying methods and theories of social science, as the crucial question of the willingness of sovereign states to recognize international jurisdiction and to comply with judgments is not so much a legal one as a (power) political one. it focuses on the objective of setting international disputes in a peaceful manner guided by the norms of International Law by utilization of International Courts, especially the ICI. The numerous aspects of the jurisdiction of the ICI subjected to analysis include the competences of the Court, the nature of matters in dispute and the role of parties to a dispute. Structural analysis is carried out of all 100 contentious cases before the ICI up to 2001. The results of analysis show that states are far from possessing a positive disposition towards international jurisdiction and this is reflected in their limited willingness to comply with international law. The fact that a state is democratic does not necessarily mean it will be friendly towards international Jurisdiction. Proceedings at the ICI demonstrate that compliance with judgment does not depend on the type of political system in a state, and is not a factor of the state's power or its status within international alliances. On the basis of empirical analysis, the article argues in favour of reforming the current system of international jurisdiction. Since states frequently are not prepared to comply with international law voluntarily, the article proposes various measures to enhance the powers of International Courts in order that they may better induce states to participate in court proceedings and comply with court decisions. The authors i.a. call for the introduction of compulsory jurisdiction and the establishment of institutions capable of enforcing judgments.


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