Sunday, October 31, 2010
On Friday, the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Hisashi Owada, gave his annual report to the United Nations General Assembly. In his address, he emphasized the important role of the court in contributing to respect for and development of the rule of law. He also highlighted the court's increasing case load, with sixteen active cases this past year alone. While that might not sound like a lot by the standards of domestic courts, it is a larger than usual number of pending cases at the ICJ. President Hisashi Owada noted this positive development as a sign that more members of the international community are resorting to the court for peaceful dispute resolution. Territorial disputes, which are the most common types of disputes the court hears, remained part of its docket. But this year's docket also included disputes relating to diplomatic protection (Honduras v. Brazil), sovereign immunity (Germany v. Italy), environmental protection (Australia v. Japan), enforcement of commercial and civil judgments (Belgium v. Switzerland), and allegations of racial discrimination (Georgia v. Russia), among other issues. The Court also issued its closely scrutinized advisory opinion relating to the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. For more information regarding the ICJ's annual report, click here.