The International Court of Justice in Asia: Interpreting the Temple of Preah Vihear Case

Asian Journal of International Law, vol. 5 (2015), p. 1

8 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2014 Last revised: 20 Feb 2015

Simon Chesterman

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 20, 2014

Abstract

This essay examines the 2013 decision by the International Court of Justice interpreting its 1962 judgment in the Temple of Preah Vihear case between Cambodia and Thailand, situating the more recent decision in the context of the Court’s evolving role in Asia. Only eight Asian states have accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court; only nine have ever appeared before it. The narrowness of the recent decision is of interest in part because of the modest role it ascribes to judicial institutions, but also for what this modesty heralds for the Court’s status in Asia. A key conclusion is that Asian states are likely to retain a general preference for bilateral resolution of disputes. For smaller disputes, however, especially those concerning subjects that cannot be divided or traded — such as a temple (and, as we shall see, an island) — the ICJ may play an important role.

Keywords: International Court of Justice, jurisdiction, dispute resolution, Asia, Preah Vihear, Thailand, Cambodia

Suggested Citation

Chesterman, Simon, The International Court of Justice in Asia: Interpreting the Temple of Preah Vihear Case (January 20, 2014). Asian Journal of International Law, vol. 5 (2015), p. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2381791

Simon Chesterman (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

HOME PAGE: www.SimonChesterman.com

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