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Individuals in Advisory Proceedings Before the International Court of Justice: Equality of the Parties and the Court’s Discretionary Authority

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Abstract The recent IFAD Advisory Opinion of the ICJ has resuscitated the long-standing question of the access of individuals to the Court in advisory proceedings when the Court is acting as a ‘review’ body for judgements rendered by administrative tribunals of international organizations. Under such circumstance, the ICJ is confronted with the existence of an actual underlying dispute between two parties, although only one of the parties to the original dispute may appear before the Court, thus creating an obvious inequality before the Court. This article examines the review procedure before the ICJ, and the position of the individuals before the ICJ in such proceedings. In particular, this article discusses the different inequalities resulting from such procedures, and how the ICJ has remedied these in order not to use its discretion to not reply to the request for an advisory opinion.

Affiliations: 1: Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands


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