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26. The Representation of the “Main Forms of Civilization” and of “the Principal Legal Systems of the World” in the International Court of Justice

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Chapter Summary

Two provisions of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ Statute) deal with the qualifications of judges of the Court. In Article 2 of the ICJ Statute, individual qualifications are spelt out which relate both to the moral or ethical quality of a person and to his or her professional competence: The judges shall be "persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or are jurisconsults of recognized competence in international law". In 1920, the combination of the two phrases "main forms of civilization" and "principal legal systems of the world" was meant to solve the problem of how the principle of equality of States could be reconciled with the wish of the "Great Powers" to be always represented on the Court.

Keywords: civilization; Court; ICJ Statute; international law; principal legal systems



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