The Development and Interpretation of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Rules and Principles through the Case-Law of the International Court of Justice
Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, Vol. 25, pp. 117-139, March 2007
23 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2008 Last revised: 9 Jun 2010
The contribution of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to the interpretation and development of international human rights and humanitarian law rules and principles is a topic of growing interest and importance. Claims of breaches of norms of both these branches of law have been raised in a considerable number of cases brought before the ICJ in the last two decades. By clarifying the complementary application of international human rights and humanitarian law and by awarding natural and legal persons a right to reparations vis-à-vis the State the ICJ has rendered a valuable contribution to a better protection of individual rights under the general framework of international law. This contribution of the Court is illustrated by focusing mainly on the advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case. That not only for reasons of space constraints, but also because of the considerable leaps forward made through these cases.
Keywords: International Court of Justice, International human rights and humanitarian law, development and interpretation of rules and principles
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