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The Travails of Poor Countries in Gaining Access to the International Court of Justice

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Chapter Summary

The role played by small and developing countries in the business of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is especially noteworthy. Although the justice administered by the ICJ is basically free of charge, the very dynamics of an international dispute generate substantial costs. Before a dispute is referred to the ICJ, there is a certain amount of essential legal work to be done: analysis of the existing dispute and its characteristics, of the applicable legal rules, of the available elements of proof and of the prospects of winning the suit. As stated in Article 39.1 of the Court’s Statute, its official languages are French and English. Ad hoc chambers can be an attractive option for small and developing countries, not only because the procedure is speedier, but also because the Parties have a considerable say in their numerical composition and even in the persons appointed.

Keywords: Ad hoc chambers; Court’s Statute; French; International Court of Justice (ICJ)



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