The International Court of Justice
in G. Zyberi (ed.), An Institutional Approach to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 365-385
17 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2017
Date Written: June 23, 2013
In spite of considerable literature on different aspects of the responsibility to protect and related institutions, little attention has been paid to the important role a key international judicial institution as the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court) can play in interpreting and developing the scope of State and non-State actors’ obligations under the responsibility to protect (RtoP), as well as enforcing those obligations in cases brought before it. This chapter examines the contribution of the ICJ to interpreting and developing legal obligations incumbent upon States which fall under RtoP. At the same time, an effort is made to expose also the possibilities and limitations of the Court in implementing RtoP. To that aim, the relevance of the ICJ’s jurisdiction with regard to ensuring international responsibility for violations of legal obligations arising under the responsibility to protect is dealt with first. In turn, the chapter provides a detailed analysis of relevant findings of the ICJ with regard to the different components of RtoP which interpret and develop their legal basis. Among those notions are the duty to prevent genocide and other serious international crimes, the duty to co-operate with international tribunals established to prosecute the alleged perpetrators and making reparations for gross violations of human rights and serious violations of the law of armed conflict.
Keywords: Responsibility to protect, International Court of Justice, international law
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