In the 20th century there have been great conflicts with devastating consequences. Among them are the two world wars, different episodes of genocide or indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population . These and other circumstances created the need to found a supranational body to judge the crimes committed. In this sense, in 1946 the International Court of Justice was formed, better known popularly as the Court of The Hague, whose seat is located in the Netherlands.
Although its headquarters are not located in New York City, it is a judicial body integrated into the United Nations . It represents the whole of humanity and its main function is to find a peaceful solution in the different conflicts and to pronounce itself before possible violations that affect human rights .
All the states that make up the UN recognize the authority of the Hague Court
This body of international justice serves to solve very diverse conflicts. Thus, it pronounces on issues of a different nature : territorial conflicts between bordering nations, diplomatic disputes, legal disputes between states, maritime boundaries or various matters on international humanitarian law.
Since the jurisdiction of the Court is general, it is possible to deal with any problem of international law. Furthermore, the Hague Court is an advisory body that may be requested at the request of a supranational entity, such as the UN General Assembly.
Individuals are not judged, but only different disputes between states are addressed
Since its founding, the Hague Court has intervened in more than 160 disputes and litigation and countless legal consultations. To carry out their functions, there are fifteen magistrates, who are elected by the General Assembly and the UN Security Council for a period of 9 years.
Each magistrate must be a national of a different country and none of them represents their corresponding countries, since they are totally independent and impartial.
The composition of the Court highlights a global geographical balance
Three positions are made up of magistrates from Africa, two by members from Latin America and the Caribbean, three from Asia, five from western Europe and other equally western states, and two more magistrates come from Eastern Europe.
In order to publicize its activities, each year the President of the Court presents a report to the UN General Assembly. To guarantee its full independence , this supranational body maintains administrative autonomy.