The International Court of Justice and the Individual
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 169
Forthcoming in Achilles Skordas (ed), Research Handbook on the International Court of Justice, Edward Elgar
26 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 19, 2019
This chapter studies the relationship between the ICJ and ‘the individual’ in a broad sense, including both human beings and private companies. It argues that there is a gap between, on one hand, the most famous dicta by the ICJ and its predecessor, the PCIJ, about the concept of international legal personality, and, on the other hand, the Court’s interpretation and application of treaty provisions that govern individuals directly. Indeed, the Court seems to have consistently invoked a more progressive view of the international legal personality of non-State entities, including individuals and private companies, than it is given – and has taken – credit for. As the chapter illustrates, how-ever, the Court’s favourable approach to ‘individual rights’ under international law has not prompt-ed it to be particularly accommodating towards ‘human rights’. Although there has unquestionably been a development in the way in which the ICJ takes account of human rights, its practice above all indicates that does not strive to be a court of human rights, but emphatically a court of international law.
Keywords: International Court of Justice, Permanent Court of International Justice, Treaty Interpretation, Individuals, Human Rights
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