International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the judicial component of the United Nations (UN), whose primary purpose is to settle legal disputes between countries. 

According to Article 92 of the UN Charter all UN members are automatically state parties to the Statute of the ICJ, meaning they have agreed to accept the Court's jurisdiction and abide by its decisions. The ICJ has the power to hear cases brought before it by member states and to issue advisory opinions on legal questions referred to by UN bodies and specialized agencies.

The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who are elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council for terms of nine years. The Court's proceedings are open to the public, and its judgments are binding on the parties to the case. The official ICJ list of cases decided since the court's inception is available at:

[Last updated in March of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]