The Chagos request: Does it herald a rejuvenation of the International Court of Justice’s advisory function?

Law, M. 2018. The Chagos request: Does it herald a rejuvenation of the International Court of Justice’s advisory function? The Queen Mary Law Journal. Spring 2018 (IX), pp. 25 - 48.

TitleThe Chagos request: Does it herald a rejuvenation of the International Court of Justice’s advisory function?
TypeJournal article
AuthorsLaw, M.
Abstract

The International Court of Justice has been open for business for over seventy years and has given twenty six advisory opinions. There have been peaks and troughs of activity and at times the issues the Court has addressed have seemed ill-matched to its position as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. This factor, taken together with periods of low activity, could foster the perception that the advisory jurisdiction is increasingly irrelevant, particularly in the context of a proliferation of other international and also regional courts.
In June 2017, the General Assembly asked the Court’s opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. This request offers the stimulating prospect of the Court turning its attention back to substantive matters of real weight and importance: inter alia sovereignty, self-determination, territorial integrity and human rights.
Now is an opportune moment to take stock and this article will assess the scope of the Court’s advisory opinion process, how it has been used to date and whether it can be better used in the future. It will conclude that change in itself is not needed and that the Court’s response to the Chagos request, with its focus on fundamental questions of international law, could revitalise the Court’s advisory function and help to reinforce its standing in the international community.

KeywordsInternational Court of Justice
Advisory jurisdiction, Advisory function, Advisory opinions
International Law
Chagos Archipelago
JournalThe Queen Mary Law Journal
Journal citationSpring 2018 (IX), pp. 25 - 48
ISSN1470-3335
Year2018
PublisherQueen Mary University of London
Accepted author manuscriptAdvisory function ICJ.2 Final draft author manuscript accepted 21.04.18 Monique Law.docx
Web address (URL)https://www.queenmarylawjournal.co.uk/uploads/9/3/0/3/93031218/book-2_-_ff_1_-.pdf
Publication dates
Published22 Jun 2018

Related outputs

R2P: Activating the International Community’s Responsibility to Protect by Shifting Focus Away from Collective Action by the Security Council Towards Early Warning and Prevention
Law, M. 2017. R2P: Activating the International Community’s Responsibility to Protect by Shifting Focus Away from Collective Action by the Security Council Towards Early Warning and Prevention. King's Student Law Review. 8 (1), pp. 88 - 107.

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