International Court of Justice is one of the chief juridical organs of the United Nations Organization, established in 1945 in order to hold peace with the international law and morals of justice, or authority to resolve international conflicts or other state of affairs, which can cause a disruption of peace. Its establishment meant the implementation of section 1 of Article 33 of the UN Charter in the part, which is predicted as a peaceful means of resolving international disputes with the possibility of trial. The official languages are English and French. The Court is located in Hague, Netherlands; therefore, unlike other five main UN organs, it is situated outside of New York.
International Court of Justice consists of 15 independent judges of any nationality, elected for a period of nine years by the General Assembly and Security Council members who do not have a veto for the purposes of elections. A candidate should obtain a unanimous majority in both organs to be elected. In order to ensure continuity in the composition of the Court, not all terms of 15 judges end at the same time. Every three years elections are held, at which one third of members of the Court are chosen.
One of the main principles of the court is the principle of representation of different civilizations with their various parliamentary systems. Thus, the places in the Court are informally distributed by major world regions: three members from Africa, two members from Latin America, three members from Asia, five members of the “Western Europe and Other States” (this group includes the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) and two members from Eastern Europe.
Talking about the function of the International Court, it is necessary to mention its advisory role. In accordance with Article 96 of the UN Charter, the General Assembly or Security Council may request the International Court advisory opinions on any legal matter. In addition, other UN bodies and specialized institutions may also request consultative guidance of the Court on legal matters.
At the trial and adjudication, court applies the sources of law, mentioned in Article 38 of its Charter, namely international conventions and treaties; international customs; general principles of law recognized by civilized nations; judgments and doctrines of the most qualified professionals with international law.
Currently, four main UN organs, two additional organs of the General Assembly, fifteen UN specialized institutions and IAEA (a total of twenty-two authorities) may ask for an advisory opinion of the Court.