Rosenne's Law and Practice of the International Court: 1920-2015

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Subject: Law

Fifth Edition by Malcolm N. Shaw

The popularity of his monumental and definitive works established Shabtai Rosenne as the undisputed expert on the International Court of Justice’s law and practice of his time. Irrefutably the leading work on the court, previous editions of Rosenne’s Law and Practice of the International Court have influenced generations of legal scholars, practitioners, judges, and students alike. The Fifth Edition, by Malcolm N. Shaw, combines his expertise as both an academic and practitioner to bring this monumental resource up-to-date while retaining Rosenne’s distinctive voice, erudition, and rigorous objectives.

Preserving Rosenne’s focus on the caselaw of the Court, the Fifth Edition is supplemented with increased references to the leading academic literature, and, like the Fourth Edition, is divided into four substantive volumes. The Fifth Edition (updated through 2015) of Rosenne’s Law and Practice of the International Court is an essential component of all international law libraries and an indispensable work for those practicing in the field, who will all appreciate access to the most recent work on the Court.

More information:

Go to chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Basic documents and Indexes

Volume I - The Court and the United Nations

Chapter 1 - Introduction

I.1 The Political and the Legal in the Settlement of Disputes
I.2 Arbitration and Judicial Settlement Compared
I.3 The Dissolution of the Permanent Court
I.4 An Historical Appreciation
I.4A The Multiplicity of International Courts and Tribunals

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Chapter 2 - The Establishment and Constitution of the Court

I.5 The Outbreak of the War
I.6 Early Inter-Allied Discussions
I.7 The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals
I.8 The Washington Committee of Jurists
I.9 The San Francisco Conference
I.10 The International Court of Justice - A New Court
I.10A The Language of the Statute
I.11 The United Nations Preparatory Commission
I.12 The Opening of the New Court
I.13 The Functional Continuity of the Two Courts
I.14 Problems of Interpretation
I.15 Political Interpretation
I.16 Judicial Interpretation
I.17 State Practice
I.18 Travaux Préparatoires
I.19 Non-Judicial Precedents
I.20 Amending the Statute

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Chapter 3 - The Political and Institutional Role of the Court

I.21 The Permanent Court and the League of Nations
I.22 The Court and the United Nations
I.23 Charter and Statute
I.24 The Court as a Principal Organ
I.24A The 2005 Summit Outcome
I.25 The Court and the General Assembly
I.26 The Court and the Security Council
I.27 The Court as Principal Judicial Organ
I.28 The Court and Other Judicial Organs
I.29 The Organs and the Court
I.29A The Court and the Secretariat
I.30 Litispendence, Political and Legal
I.31 The Specialized Agencies and the Court
I.32 The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
I.32A The International Criminal Court
I.33 The Political Function of Judicial Settlement
I.34 The Judicial Role of the Court
I.35 The Attitudes of States towards Judicial Settlement
I.36 The Attitudes of States: The Western Attitude
I.37 The Attitudes of States: The Marxist-Socialist Attitude
I.38 The Synthesis

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Chapter 4 - The Post-Adjudication Phase

I.39 The Character of the Post-Adjudication Phase
I.40 The Views of the Court
I.41 Underlying Characteristics of the Problem
I.42 The Obligation of Compliance
I.43 Compliance with Incidental and Interlocutory Decisions
I.44 Compliance with Final Decisions
I.45 Compliance through National Courts
I.46 The Consequences of Non-Compliance
I.47 The Role of Self-Help
I.48 Methods to Secure Compliance
I.49 A Comprehensive Example: The Corfu Channel Case
I.50 Compliance through United Nations Charter Machinery
I.51 The Role of the Security Council
I.52 The Role of Other Organs
I.53 Complaint of Iran's Failure to Comply with Indication of Provisional Measures (1951)
I.54 The Arbitral Award of the King of Spain Case (1960-1963)
I.55 The Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua Case
I.56 The Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Mali) Case
I.57 The Territorial Dispute (Libya/Chad) Case
I.57A The Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria Case
I.57B The Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute between El Salvador and Honduras
I.57C The Capital Punishment Cases
I.57D The Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger) Case
I.57E The Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v Thailand) Case
I.57F The Burkina Faso/Niger Case
I.58 An International Force and Judgment Enforcement

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Chapter 5 - Advisory Opinions

I.59 The Experience of the League of Nations
I.60 Comparison of Covenant and Charter
I.61 The Principal Organs: The General Assembly
I.61A Emergency Special Session
I.62 Reception of Advisory Opinions by the General Assembly
I.63 The Principal Organs: The Security Council
I.64 The Principal Organs: The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
I.65 The Principal Organs: The Trusteeship Council
I.66 The Secretary-General
I.67 Other United Nations Organs
I.68 The Specialized Agencies
I.69 The Specialized Agencies: The International Labour Organization
I.70 The Specialized Agencies: World Health Organization
I.71 The Specialized Agencies: UNESCO
I.72 The Specialized Agencies: The International Maritime Organization
I.73 The Specialized Agencies: The World Bank
I.74 The International Atomic Energy Agency
I.75 The Request
I.75A Reinvigorating the Advisory Competence

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Chapter 6 - The Members of the Court

I.76 Introductory
I.77 The Qualifications of Members of the Court
I.78 The Frequency of Elections
I.79 Nomination of Candidates
I.80 Withdrawal of Candidacies
I.81 The System of Election
I.82 Procedure in the General Assembly
I.83 Procedure in the Security Council
I.84 Meeting and Ballot
I.85 The Avoidance of a Deadlock
I.86 Elections to Fill Occasional Vacancies
I.87 Term of Office of Members of the Court
I.88 Appraisal of the Electoral System
I.89 The Solemn Declaration of a Member of the Court
I.90 The President and Vice-President
I.91 The Order of Precedence of the Members of the Court
I.92 Resignation of a Member of the Court
I.93 The Removal from Office of a Member of the Court
I.94 Incompatibilities
I.95 Attendance of Members of the Court and the Quorum
I.96 Chambers of the Court
I.97 Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities

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Chapter 7 - The Registrar and the Registry

I.98 The Registrar
I.99 Deputy-Registrar
I.100 Removal from Office
I.101 The Registry Staff
I.101A The Joint Inspection Unit and the Registry
I.102 Privileges and Immunities
I.103 The Instructions for the Registry
I.104 The Court's Publications
I.105 Relations with the Press
I.105A The Court's Museum

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Chapter 8 - Finance and Administration

I.106 The League System
I.107 The Statute of 1945
I.108 The Court's Expenditure
I.109 Unforeseen Expenditure
I.110 The Court's Income
I.111 Salaries of the Members of the Court
I.112 The Revision of 1950
I.113 The Revision of 1961
I.114 The Revision of 1967
I.115 The Revision of 1971
I.116 The Revision of 1973
I.117 The Revision of 1976
I.118 The Revision of 1980
I.119 The Revision of 1985
I.120 The Revision of 1990
I.121 The Revision of 1993-1994
I.122 The Review of 1995
I.122A The Revision of 1998
I.122B The Review of 2001
I.122C The Review of 2004-2005
I.122D The Reviews of 2006-2008
I.122E The Review of 2010
I.122F The Review of 2013
I.123 Education Grant
I.124 Relocation (Assignment) Grant
I.125 Members Retained to Finish a Case
I.126 Special Allowance of President and Vice-President
I.127 Judges ad hoc
I.128 Pensions of Members of the Court
I.129 The Pension Plan of 1946
I.130 The Revised Pension Plan of 1960
I.131 The Revised Pension Plan of 1963
I.132 The Revised Pension Plan of 1980
I.133 The Review of 1995
I.133A The Review of 1998
I.133B The Review of 2000-2001
I.133C The Review of 2004
I.133D The Review of 2008
I.133E The Review of 2011
I.133F The Review of 2013
I.134 Financing the Pensions
I.135 The Registrar's Salary
I.136 Registry Staff Salary
I.137 Tax Equalization - Staff Assessment
I.138 Travel and Subsistence Allowances
I.139 Witnesses and Experts
I.140 Appraisal of Budgetary Arrangements
I.141 The Registrar's Pension
I.142 Registry Staff's Pension
I.143 The Court's Property
I.144 The Seat of the Court
I.145 Official Mail, Postal Services and Common Services
I.146 The Secretary-General's Trust Fund

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Volume II - Jurisdiction

Chapter 9 - Jurisdiction and Admissibility: General Concepts

II.147 The Concept of Dispute: Justiciability and Jurisdiction
II.147A Justiciability
II.148 Jurisdiction and Competence
II.149 The Meaning of Jurisdiction
II.150 Mutuality and Reciprocity as Elements of Jurisdiction
II.151 Jurisdiction and Propriety
II.152 The Concept of Essential Parties
II.153 Jurisdiction and the Seisin of the Court
II.154 The Consensual Basis of Jurisdiction
II.155 The Expression of Consent
II.156 The Temporal Factor in Jurisdiction
II.157 Consent by Conduct
II.158 Withdrawal of Consent
II.159 Jurisdiction to Decide ex aequo et bono
II.160 The non ultra petita Rule
II.161 Jurisdiction over Incidental Matters
II.162 Jurisdiction to Control Proceedings

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Chapter 10 - Qualification to Be a Party in a Case: Jurisdiction Ratione Personae

II.163 Introductory
II.164 Members of the United Nations
II.165 Non-Members of the United Nations as Parties to the Statute
II.166 Consequences of Being a Party to the Statute
II.167 Withdrawal from the United Nations, Suspension of Rights of Membership and Expulsion
II.167A The Termination of the Existence of a State
II.168 Access to the Court of States Not Parties to the Statute
II.169 Access to the Court of States Not Parties to the Statute: Security Council Resolution 9 (1946)
II.170 Access to the Court of States Not Parties to the Statute: Rules of Court, Articles 36 (1946) and 41 (1978)
II.171 Public International Organizations
II.172 International Non-Governmental Organizations
II.173 Individuals

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Chapter 11 - Treaties and Conventions in Force

II.174 Jurisdiction Ratione Materiae
II.174A Treaties in Force: Statute, Article 36 (1)
II.175 The Special Agreement
II.176 The Compromissory Clause
II.177 General Treaties for the Pacific Settlement of Disputes
II.178 The Framework Agreement
II.179 Treaties Concluded before 1945: Statute, Article 37
II.180 Matters Provided for in the United Nations Charter: Statute Article 36 (1)
II.181 The General Theory of Forum Prorogatum
II.182 Forum Prorogatum: Early Developments
II.183 The Discussions of 1934-1936
II.184 The Time for Formal Agreement
II.185 Agreement by Successive Acts in the Proceedings
II.186 Agreement Reached in Course of Pleading
II.187 Tacit Consent
II.188 The State Organs Competent to Give Consent
II.189 Evaluation of Forum Prorogatum

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Chapter 12 - The Compulsory Jurisdiction (Optional Clause)

II.190 The Origins
II.191 The Statute: Article 36, Paragraphs 2 and 3
II.192 'Ipso Facto and without Special Agreement'
II.193 'States Parties' and 'Any Other State'
II.194 'Accepting the Same Obligation'
II.195 'Legal Disputes'
II.196 Declarations Made before 1945: Statute, Article 36 (5)
II.197 Form of Declaration
II.198 Deposit and Circulation of a Declaration: Statute, Article 36 (4)
II.199 Reciprocity: Statute, Article 36 (3)
II.200 Reservations and Conditions: Statute, Article 36 (3)
II.201 Objective Reservation of Domestic Jurisdict Charter Article 2 (7)
II.202 Subjective Reservation of Domestic Jurisdiction
II.203 Temporal Conditions: Terminology
II.204 Temporal Limitations
II.205 Application of Temporal Limitations
II.206 The Temporal Element of Jurisdiction Ratione Personae
II.207 Special Reservations
II.208 The War Exclusion Clause
II.209 Interpretation of Declarations
II.210 Modification, Amendment and Replacement of a Declaration
II.211 Denunciation of a Declaration
II.212 The Lex Specialis of the System of Compulsory Jurisdiction
II.213 Evaluation

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Chapter 13 - Matters of Jurisdiction

II.214 The Importance of Matters of Jurisdiction
II.215 Jurisdiction as to the Jurisdiction
II.216 Meaning of 'Dispute as to Jurisdiction'
II.217 The Consequences of Raising a Matter of Jurisdiction
II.218 Time for Raising a Matter of Jurisdiction
II.219 Preliminary Objections: Rules of 1926/1931, Article 38
II.220 Preliminary Objections: Rules of 1936/1946, Article 62
II.221 Preliminary Objections: The Change of 1972/1978/2000: 1978/2000 Rules, Article 79
II.222 The Isolation of Matters of Jurisdiction by the Court
II.223 The Isolation of Matters of Jurisdiction by the Parties
II.224 Suspension of Proceedings on the Merits
II.225 Successive Objections
II.226 Agreement of the Parties to Defer Objections
II.227 Priorities of Objections
II.228 Pre-Judicatory Proceedings
II.229 The Non-Exhaustive Character of Preliminary Objection Proceedings: Pleas in Bar
II.230 Distinction between Objection and Defence
II.231 Character of the Decision on Preliminary Objection
II.232 Disposal of Objections: Rules, Article 79 Paragraph 9
II.232A Matters of Jurisdiction in Counter-Claims
II.233 Matters of Jurisdiction Raised by the Court

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Chapter 14 - The Title of Jurisdiction

II.234 Meaning of the Term
II.235 Language
II.236 Validity in Time of the Title of Jurisdiction
II.237 The Retroactive Effect of a Title of Jurisdiction
II.238 Multiple Titles of Jurisdiction
II.239 Added Titles of Jurisdiction
II.240 Successive Titles of Jurisdiction
II.241 Termination of the Title of Jurisdiction
II.242 Registration under Charter, Article 102

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Chapter 15 - Advisory Jurisdiction

II.243 General Concepts
II.243A Facts in Advisory Cases
II.244 'Any Legal Question'
II.244A Abstract Question
II.245 'Arising within the Scope of [Its] Activities'
II.246 The Court's Discretion
II.247 Discretion Based on the Court's Judicial Character
II.248 Discretion Based on the Court's Status as a Principal Organ
II.249 Jurisdiction in Special Advisory Proceedings
II.250 Judicial Interpretation of an Advisory Opinion
II.251 Revision of an Advisory Opinion
II.252 The Treatment of Preliminary Questions in Advisory Proceedings
II.253 Appraisal

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Volume III - Procedure

Chapter 16 - Elements of International Procedural Law

III.254 The Basic Approach
III.255 The Statute and Rules of Court
III.256 The Function of the Proceedings
III.257 Evidence and the Burden of Proof
III.258 The Equality of the Parties

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Chapter 17 - The Bench

III.259 Terminology
III.259A Participation of Members of the Court in a Case
III.260 Ineligibility and Abstention of a Member of the Court in a Particular Case (Recusal)
III.261 The Composition of the Bench for a Particular Case
III.262 Chambers of the Court
III.263 Special Chambers
III.264 Ad hoc Chambers
III.265 The Chamber of Summary Procedure
III.266 The Concept of Judge ad hoc
III.267 The Right to Appoint a Judge ad hoc
III.268 Qualifications of Judge ad hoc
III.269 Parties in the Same Interest
III.270 The Problem of Imbalance
III.271 Non-Appointment of Judge ad hoc
III.272 Judge ad hoc in Intervention Cases
III.273 Judges ad hoc in Advisory Cases
III.274 The President of the Bench
III.275 Assessors
III.276 Experts Appointed by the Court

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Chapter 18 - The Representation of the Parties

III.277 The Agent
III.278 The Agent's Functions
III.279 Time for the Appointment of the Agents
III.280 The Agent's Address for Service
III.281 A Party's Delegation
III.282 Counsel and Advocates
III.282A Eligibility to Be Member of a Delegation
III.283 Experts of the Parties
III.284 Witnesses Called by a Party
III.285 Representatives in Advisory Cases
III.286 Representatives: Privileges and Immunities

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Chapter 19 -The Institution of Contentious Proceedings

III.287 The Seising of the Court
III.288 The Requirement of Prior Diplomatic Negotiations
III.289 Requirement of Prior Attempt at Arbitration
III.290 The Exhaustion of Local Remedies
III.290A Exhaustion of Regional Processes
III.291 The Link of the Dispute with the Title of Jurisdiction
III.292 The Interest of the Applicant State
III.293 Methods of Instituting Proceedings
III.294 Notification of Institution of Proceedings
III.295 The Court's General List
III.296 The Title of the Case
III.297 Notification of Special Agreement
III.298 Application Instituting Proceedings
III.298A Amendment of Application
III.299 The Relations of the Litigating States
III.300 Institution of Incidental and Derivative Proceedings

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Chapter 20 - The Written Proceedings and Related Matters

III.301 The President's Consultations
III.302 Joinder of Cases and Hearing in Common
III.303 The Written Pleadings
III.304 Submissions in Written Pleadings
III.305 Counter-Claims
III.305A Counter-Claims: The Court's Law
III.306 Pleadings in Incidental Proceedings
III.307 Documents in Support
III.307A The Authenticity of Documents
III.308 Affidavits and Declarations
III.309 The Language of Written Pleadings
III.310 Correction of Errors in a Pleading
III.311 Confidentiality of Written Pleadings
III.312 The Order of the Written Pleadings
III.312A The Number of Written Pleadings
III.313 The Fixing of Time Limits
III.314 Case Ready for Hearing
III.315 New Documents: Rules, Article 56
III.316 Costs

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Chapter 21 - The Oral Proceedings

III.317 The Significance of the Oral Proceedings
III.318 Date of Oral Proceedings
III.319 Preparations in the Registry
III.320 The Hearing
III.321 Questions to the Parties
III.322 The Language of Oral Proceedings
III.323 Witnesses and Experts
III.323A Witnesses and Experts: Examination
III.324 Statute, Article 49: Obtaining Evidence by the Court
III.325 Experts Appointed by the Court: Statute, Article 50
III.326 Witnesses Called by the Court
III.327 Submission of Evidence by a Third State
III.328 The Final Submissions
III.329 The Closure of the Hearing
III.330 Evaluation of Procedure

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Chapter 22 - Proceedings in Chambers

III.331 The Invocation of a Standing Chamber
III.332 The Invocation of an ad hoc Chamber
III.333 The Procedure in Chambers
III.334 The Judgment of a Chamber

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Chapter 23 - Non-Appearance

III.335 Failure to Appear before the Court
III.336 Non-Appearance and Provisional Measures of Protection
III.337 Aspects of Procedure
III.338 The Resolution of the Institute of International Law

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Chapter 24 - Provisional Measures of Protection

III.339 Statute, Article 41
III.339A The Rules of Court
III.340 The Procedure
III.341 The Special Function of the President
III.342 The Time for the Request
III.343 Fresh Request
III.344 Urgency
III.345 The Duration of Provisional Measures
III.346 The Case Law
III.347 The Role of the Security Council
III.347A Possible Misuse of Provisional Measures Procedure

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Chapter 25 - Termination of Proceedings

III.348 Rules, Articles 88 and 89
III.349 Removal from the General List
III.350 Termination of the Proceedings by the Parties Jointly
III.351 Termination of the Proceedings by the Applicant
III.352 Discontinuance of Preliminary Objection Proceedings
III.353 Discontinuance of Provisional Measures Proceedings
III.354 Removal from List by the Court

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Chapter 26 - Intervention by Third States

III.355 Introduction: Statute, Articles 62 and 63
III.356 The Background
III.357 The San Francisco Conference
III.358 Interpretation of Articles 62 and 63
III.358A Rules, Article 43
III.359 Rules of Court 1922 to 1972
III.360 Rules of Court (1978), Articles 81 to 86
III.361 The Application of the Rules, Articles 81 - 86
III.362 Jurisdiction Ratione Personae in Matters of Intervention
III.363 Jurisdiction Ratione Materiae in Matters of Intervention
III.364 The 'Incidental' Character of Intervention
III.365 The Link of Jurisdiction
III.366 The Non-Party Intervener
III.367 Intervention in ad hoc Chamber Proceedings

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Chapter 27 - The Decision

III.368 The Court's Decision-Making
III.369 The Deliberation
III.370 The Authoritative Text: The Court's Bilingualism
III.371 The Secrecy of the Deliberations
III.372 Individual Opinions
III.373 The Judgment
III.374 The Judgment: The Operative Provisions
III.375 The Judgment: The Reasons in Point of Law: Statute Article 38
III.376 Statute, Article 38: General Principles of Law
III.377 Statute, Article 38, Paragraph 1 (d): Subsidiary Means - Generalities
III.377A Statute, Article 38, Paragraph 1 (d): Judicial Decisions
III.378 Statute, Article 38, Paragraph 1 (d): Teachings of Publicists
III.379 Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly
III.380 Decision ex aequo et bono
III.381 Orders
III.382 Other Decisions
III.383 Correction of Errors
III.384 Critique of Statements of Law
III.385 Statute: Article 59
III.386 'In Respect of That Particular Case'
III.387 Declaratory Judgments
III.388 The Protective Function of Article 59: The Non-Party State
III.389 Inadequacies of Article 59
III.390 Criticism of Application of Article 59
III.391 Statute, Article 60: The Res Judicata
III.392 The Judgment and Third Parties
III.393 Preliminary Objection Judgments and Later Phases

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Chapter 28 - Interpretation and Revision of a Judgment

III.394 General Observations
III.395 Interpretation: Statute, Article 60
III.396 'Final and without Appeal'
III.397 Revision: Statute, Article 61 and Rules, Article 99

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Chapter 29 - The Court’s Extrajudicial Function

III.398 Nature of the Practice
III.399 International Agreements
III.400 Agreements between a Government and a Private Concern
III.401 Contracts between Private Concerns
III.402 Unilateral Invocation of the Extrajudicial Function
III.403 Evaluation

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Chapter 30 - Advisory Proceedings

III.404 Statute, Articles 65, 66, and 102 - 109; Rules of Court, Part IV
III.405 The Bench: Court and Chambers: Judges ad hoc
III.406 The Institution of Advisory Proceedings
III.407 Accompanying Documents
III.408 Right of Participation in Advisory Proceedings
III.409 Principal Features of the Advisory Procedure
III.410 Hearing in Common of Two Advisory Proceedings
III.411 Individuals
III.412 Provisional Measures in Advisory Proceedings
III.413 The Role of the Secretary-General
III.414 The Advisory Opinion
III.415 The Legal Effect of an Advisory Opinion
III.415 app. Appendix to Chapter 30: Participation of States in Advisory Proceedings

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Volume IV - Basic Documents and Indexes

(page numbers in the index sections Table of Cases, Index of Names and General Index link to the top of the page in the printed edition)

  1. The Composition of the Court
  2. The Charter of the United Nations
  3. The Statute of the Court
  4. The Rules of Court 1978–2015
  5. Practice Directions
  6. Resolution Concerning the Internal Judicial Practice of the Court
  7. Note for the Parties Concerning the Preparation of Pleadings
  8. Secretary-General’s Trust Fund
  9. Table of Cases
  10. Index of Names
  11. Articles of Charter Cited
  12. Articles of Statute Cited
  13. Articles of Rules of 1936/1946 Cited
  14. Articles of Rules of 1978–2005 Cited
  15. General Index

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It was a singular honour to be invited by Mr Alan Stephens (Shabtai Rosenne’s literary executor) and Mr Hans van der Meij (of Brill publishers) to revise Rosenne’s classic work on the International Court of Justice. Originally published in 1957 with the second edition in 1965, the third in 1997 and the fourth in 2006, it rapidly became established as the leading work on the court. Erudite, practical and thoughtful, it was avidly turned to by judges, practitioners, scholars and students alike. It is no secret that Rosenne himself was from time to time consulted by judges from the International Court seeking assistance with abstruse and complicated problems concerning the practice of the court.

Shabtai Rosenne was born in London on 24 November 1917. He served in the Royal Air Force from 1940 to 1946. He obtained an LLB from London University and qualified as a solicitor. After the war, he began working for the Jewish Agency and moved to mandatory Palestine in 1947. In 1948 he became the Legal Adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post he held until 1967. Thereafter, he served as Ambassador in the UN in New York and in Geneva and in various international organisations. His work in the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the UN General Assembly and in the UN International Law Commission, for example, were renowned. But it was not only as a highly distinguished Israeli lawyer and diplomat with unrivalled experience that Rosenne was known throughout the diplomatic and legal world. He was a truly formidable international lawyer and became an internationally acknowledged expert in, and great contributor to, for example, the law of treaties; the law of the sea (in which he participated in all the major UN conferences and with regard to which he was the General Editor of a highly influential multi-volume commentary on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea); and, preeminently, of course, with regard to the International Court of Justice. But for Rosenne, law and practice went together and he acted for and advised a number of states as Counsel before the International and other Courts and Tribunals. These included the US in the ELSI and LaGrand cases, Serbia in the Genocide case and Japan in the Southern Bluefin Tuna case. He also advised in a number of international arbitrations.

Side by side with these achievements, Rosenne was a successful and thoughtful teacher. He gave lectures and was a Visiting Professor at numerous institutions around the world, including the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, and the universities of Cambridge, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Virginia. He gave the General Course on International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law and received many prestigious awards, including the Israel Prize (1960), the Certificate of Merit of the American Society of International Law for the second edition of this work (1968), the Manley O. Hudson Medal (1999), and the Hague Prize for International Law (2004). He was an honorary member of the Institut de Droit International, the American Society of International Law and the Hellenic Society of International Law.1 He passed away on 21 September 2010. Judge Owada, the then President of the International Court paid tribute to him on 11 October 2010 at the opening on the oral hearings in the Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v Colombia) case. He referred to Rosenne as “a truly distinguished international lawyer” and termed this work a “landmark treatise”, which remained “an indispensable guide to the role and functioning of this Court, and serves as the first port of call for international lawyers and diplomats alike who are interested in the work of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations”. A minute’s silence was held.2

Following in such footsteps is well nigh impossible and the decision was early taken to maintain as much of Rosenne’s distinctive voice, erudition and experience as possible. This edition is, therefore, essentially an updating and, where necessary, a revision of the previous edition compiled, it is hoped, with Rosenne’s rigorous objectives in mind. Accordingly, the structure of the fourth edition has been followed. I have, however, taken the liberty of somewhat increasing the number of footnote references to leading academic works, while retaining the primary focus upon the caselaw of the court itself.

The manuscript of this edition was submitted just prior to the seventieth anniversary of the establishment of the court, which added to the years of the preceding Permanent Court of International Justice, marks a total of 95 years of operation of this unique and exceptional repository of the hopes of succeeding generations, imbued with the vision of turning the swords of conflict into the ploughshares of a shared and peaceful future for humankind.

I have been fortunate in my efforts in having the energetic research assistance of Rumiana Yotova and Andrew Sanger, both now academics at the University of Cambridge. I am deeply grateful to them, nevertheless, all responsibility for this edition rests upon my shoulders. The closing date for the manuscript was 31 December 2015. I am also delighted to record my appreciation for all of the work put in by Brill Nijhoff, in particular by Marie Sheldon and Diana Steele.

Rosenne concluded his preface with a warm and understanding reference to his wife, Esther. I can do no less. Judith has been my rock and my muse for decades now, and I cherish every moment. Thank you!

Malcolm N. Shaw QC, April 2016.
Senior Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and Practising Barrister, Essex Court Chambers, London

1. Much of the above has been taken from an obituary written by the present editor and published in The Guardian on 12 October 2010,

2.CR/2010/12 at 10,

Note on Documents and Abbreviations

1. Documents of the Permanent Court of International Justice are cited in accordance with their series number together with the year. They are all available on the website of the International Court of Justice. The series are:

BAdvisory Opinions
A/BJudgments, Orders and Advisory Opinions (since 1932)
DActs and Documents concerning the Organization of the Court
EAnnual Reports of the Court
FGeneral Indexes

2. Documents of the International Court of Justice are cited as follows:

  • Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders, annual volumes since 1947–1948 – year and page, thus [1994] 114.
  • Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents, one or more volumes per case – case name followed by Pleadings.
  • Acts and Documents concerning the Organization of the Court – Acts.
  • Yearbook of the International Court of Justice – ICJYB followed by years.

3. Documents of the League of Nations:

  • League of Nations Official Journal – LNOJ, annual from 1920 to 1939, occasional from 1940 to 1946.
  • League of Nations Official Journal Special Supplements (1–194)- LNOJ Sp. Sup.
  • Other documents by their official number and where printed, their Sales Number.

4. United Nations Documents:

  1. General Assembly session (year) number, GAOR. Plenary or Main Committee, meeting number, paragraph (where available) otherwise page number in English version.
  2. Annexes in the early sessions by GAOR reference, and since the introduction of the fascicle system for the annexes at the 5th session (1950), by agenda item (a.i.) fascicle. References are not given for resolutions of the General Assembly. They are normally published in the last supplement to the Official Records of each session. The session is indicated in the resolution number. All resolutions are available on the UN website
  3. Security Council – year, SCOR, printed publication number, meeting number, paragraph. Documents printed in three-monthly supplements are cited by reference to document number and printed supplement. Other documents are indicated by the word mimeo. References are not given for resolutions of the Security Council. They are numbered consecutively and published annually in the series S/INF/-. All are available on the UN website.
  4. International Law Commission meetings are cited by reference to the Yearbook of the International Law Commission and paragraph. They are published in Volume I of the annual volumes of the Yearbook. ILC documents are cited by reference to the document number as published in Volume II of the Yearbook. The Commission’s Report (annual) is cited by reference to chapter and paragraph. Since 1976 the Commission’s Report has been published in its final, edited, form as Volume II, Part Two, of the Yearbook. It is initially issued as a supplement to the Official Records of the General Assembly.
  5. Other UN docs. are cited by reference to their document number and a printed edition if available (indicated by a UN Sales Number).
  6. Document numbers that are asterisked (*) are reissues for technical reasons.

5. Cross-references in this work are given to chapter (except where in the same chapter), section (the section number also indicating the volume) and (where relevant) note. In this online edition the cross reference are clickable

Other Abbreviations

ADAnnual Digest and Reports of International Law Cases, 16 volumes (1919–1949). Continued as ILR (see below)
adv. op.advisory opinion
AFDIAnnuaire français de droit international
a.i. agenda item
AJILAmerican Journal of International Law
Annuaire IDIAnnuaire de l’ Institut de Droit International/Yearbook of the Institute of International Law
BYILBritish Year Book of International Law
CTSConsolidated Treaty Series
DocumentsDocuments on the International Court of Justice/Documents relatifs à la Cour internationale de Justice (1st bilingual edition, Sh. Rosenne, ed. 1993)
ECOSOCEconomic and Social Council
Hudson, Permanent CourtM.O. Hudson, The Permanent Court of International Justice 1920–1942 (1943).
Hudson, TribunalsM.O. Hudson, International Tribunals, Past and Future (1944)
ICJYBInternational Court of Justice, Yearbook
ICLQInternational and Comparative Law Quarterly
ILCYBYearbook of the International Law Commission
ILMInternational Legal Materials
ILRInternational Law Reports
Jenks, ProspectsC.W. Jenks. The Prospects of International Adjudication (1964)
LN League of Nations
LN. Docs.League of Nations, Documents concerning the action taken by the Council of the League of Nations under Article 14 of the Covenant and the adoption by the Assembly of the Statute of the Permanent Court (1921).
LNOJLeague of Nations Official Journal
LNTSLeague of Nations, Treaty Series
LPICTThe Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (since 2002)
Mimeomimeographed document
OROfficial Records
PCIJ, DocumentsDocuments presented to the [Advisory] Committee [of Jurists] relating to existing plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice (1920)
PCIJ, Procès-verbauxProcès-verbaux of the Proceedings of the Committee, June 16th – July 24th 1920 (1920)
prel. obj(s).preliminary objection(s)
prov. meas.provisional measures
RADIAcadémie de Droit international/Academy of International Law, Recueil des Cours/Collected Courses
RGDIPRevue général de Droit international public
RIAAUnited Nations, Reports of International Arbitral Awards
RivistaRivista di Diritto internazionale
SC RepertoireRepertoire of Practice of the Security Council, 1946–1951 and Supplements as follows: 1952–1955, 1956–1958, 1959–1963, 1964–1965, 1965–1968, 1969–1971, 1972–1974, 1975–1980, 1981–1984, continuing
Sp. Sup.Special Supplement
von Stauffenberg, StatutInstitut für ausländisches Recht und Völkerrecht, Statut et règlement de la Cour permanente de Justice internationale: Eléments d’ Interprétation (B. Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, ed. 1934).
Stuyt, SurveyA.M. Stuyt, Survey of International Arbitrations 1794–1989 (third updated edition, 1990)
UNCIODocuments of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (the San Francisco Conference, 1945)
UNJYBUnited Nations Juridical Yearbook
UN RepertoryRepertory of Practice of United Nations Organs. 6 volumes to 1954, Sup. 1, 2 volumes to 1956, Sup. 2, 3 volumes to 1959, Sup. 3, 5 volumes 1959–1966, Sup. 4, 2 volumes 1966–1969, Sup. 5, 5 volumes 1970–1978, continuing
UNTSUnited Nations, Treaty Series
ZaöRVZeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht


As far as possible documents are cited by reference to their printed versions and official number. Most modern documents are available on an appropriate website. Treaties are cited bv reference to one of the standard treaty collections. Treaties that have been registered with the UN but not yet printed in the UNTS are cited by reference to their registration number. Decisions of the Permanent Court of International Justice, the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the two current ad hoc Criminal Tribunals are cited by reference to their official reports or to their website. Resolutions of standing organs of international organizations are taken from the Official Records or from the website.

The principal websites are as follows: (also through the UN home page) (also through the UN home page) (also through the UN home page) (English) (French) (also through the UN home page)
PCIJthrough the ICJ home page (in all the official languages)
UNATUnited Nations Administrative Tribunal, through the UN home page