Chapter VII. Decisions and Advisory Opinions of International Tribunals


  1. International Court of Justice1

    The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

    On 5 April 2011, the President of the Court ordered the case of Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Belgium v. Switzerland) to be removed from the list of cases after the Agent of Belgium had requested the Court to make such an order recording Belgium’s discontinuance of the proceedings. A time-limit was provided for in accordance with Article 89, paragraph 2, of the Court’s Rules of Procedure, for Switzerland to oppose the discontinuance of the proceedings, but no such opposition was made.

    1. Judgments

      (i) Application of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995 (The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia v. Greece), Judgment, 5 December 2011.

      (ii) Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, Application by Costa Rica for Permission to Intervene, 4 May 2011.

      (iii) Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, Application by Honduras for Permission to Intervene, 4 May 2011.

      (iv) Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation), Judgment, 1 April 2011.

    2. Advisory Opinions

      No advisory opinions were delivered by the Court in 2011.

      1 The texts of the judgments, advisory opinions and orders are published in the ICJ Reports. Summaries of the judgments, advisory opinions and orders of the Court are provided in English and French on its website In addition, the summaries can be found in all six official languages of the United Nations on the website of the Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, For more information about the Court’s activities, see, for the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011, Report of the International Court of Justice, Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 4 (A/66/4). At the time of publication, the report covering the period 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012 was forthcoming.

    3. Pending cases and proceedings as at 31 December 2011

      (i) Request for interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand) (Cambodia v. Thailand) (2011-).

      (ii) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) (2010- ).

      (iii) Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger) (2010- ).

      (iv) Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan) (2010- ).

      (v) Judgment No. 2867 of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization upon a Complaint Filed against the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Request for Advisory Opinion) (2010- ).

      (vi) Questions relating to the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v. Senegal) (2009- ).

      (vii) Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) (2008- ).

      (viii) Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece Intervening) (2008- ).

      (ix) Maritime Dispute (Peru v. Chile) (2008- ).

      (x) Territorial and Maritime dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia) (2001- ).

      (xi) Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia) (1999- ).

      (xii) Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo

      v. Uganda) (1999- ).

      (xiii) Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) (1998- ).

      (xiv) Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary v. Slovakia) (1993- ).

  2. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea2

    The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent permanent tribunal established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982.3 The Agreement on Cooperation and Relationship between the United Nations and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea,4 signed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the Tribunal on 18 December 1997, establishes a mechanism for cooperation between the two institutions.

    2 For more information about the Tribunal’s activities, including relating to orders rendered in 2011, see the Annual report of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for 2011 (SPLOS/241) and the Tribunal’s website at

    3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1833, p. 3.

    4 Ibid., vol. 2000, p. 468.

    chapter VII 563

    1. Judgments

      No judgments were delivered by the Tribunal in 2011. On 1 February 2011, the Tribunal delivered an advisory opinion in Case No. 17—Responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the Area (Request for Advisory Opinion submitted to the Seabed Disputes Chamber).

    2. Pending cases and proceedings as at 31 December 2011

      (i) Case No. 19—The M/V “Virginia G” Case (Panama/Guinea-Bissau) (2011- ).

      (ii) Case No. 18—The M/V “Louisa” Case (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Spain) (2010- ).

      (iii) Case No. 16—Dispute concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar) (2009- ).

  3. International Criminal Court5

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent permanent court established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998.6 The Negotiated Relationship Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations7

    outlines the relationship between the two institutions.

    As of 2011, the Court was investigating seven situations. Three States Parties to the Rome Statute—Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic—had referred situations occurring on their territories to the Court. In addition, the situations in Darfur, Sudan, and in Libya, both non-States Parties...

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