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13 Matters of Jurisdiction

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Chapter Summary

Jurisdiction is the link between the general political organization of international society and the functioning of the Court. Apart from preliminary objections, matters of jurisdiction can also arise in other circumstances. In a series of incidental proceedings for the indication of provisional measures of protection during which the Court became aware that the respondent had serious grounds for contesting the jurisdiction on the merits, the Court has developed a practice of requiring the first pleadings to address the questions of jurisdiction and, if necessary, admissibility, before going further. The fundamental principle of international law governing all these aspects is that an international tribunal is master of its own jurisdiction. The unspoken assumption of the isolation of matters of jurisdiction and of admissibility by the Court is that these issues can be argued in an adversarial proceeding and judicially determined before the full facts are laid before the Court.

Keywords: international court; international law; jurisdiction



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