World Court Enhancements to Advance the Rule of Law

TitleWorld Court Enhancements to Advance the Rule of Law
Publication TypeMonographs
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsMacPherson BF

This monograph suggests various methods to improve the effectiveness of the Court, including greater use of chambers, advisory opinions, and acceptance of the Court's jurisdiction over limited subject areas -- 78 pages.

Full Text

Excerpts from Mr. MacPherson's Conclusions:
The rule of law would benefit most from an increase in the ICJ's jurisdiction to include allowing the UN and other international organizations to be parties to contentious cases and to provide for true compulsory jurisdiction for intra-state disputes. International organizations should be encouraged to seek advisory opinions when there is a substantial dispute concerning a matter within the scope of their activities. The General Assembly should authorize the Secretary General, as well as additional organizations, to request advisory opinions. Consideration should also be given to amending the Statute so that all UN organs and agencies can obtain advisory opinions without first being authorized by the General Assembly and to permit certain types of non-governmental organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to obtain advisory opinions.

States should signify their commitment by (1) including compromissory clauses in treaties (2) entering into a general dispute resolution convention that provides for ICJ resolution, and (3) accepting the Court's general jurisdiction under the optional clause. The US should exercise leadership in this regard. It should, for example, emphasize its commitment to the rule of law by filing a new declaration under the optional clause that does not contain such debilitating reservations as the Connally reservation. Most importantly, where jurisdiction does exist, the US should refer suitable disputes to the Court for resolution on a regular basis.

(Excerpts taken from page 77 of Monograph 13)