Located in Peace Palace in The Hague, the International Court of Justice is the main judicial branch of the United Nations. The court was established in 1945 by the UN Charter and took the place of the Permanent Court of International Justice. The court is regulated and constituted by the Statue of the International Court of Justice.
International Court of Justice Activities
The court not only settles legal disputes, but also provides opinions on legal questions sent in by its international branches, the UN General Assembly and agencies. The court has dealt with only a handful of cases, although many developing countries are becoming increasingly interested in using the court. One such famous case the court dealt with was Nicaragua v. United States in which the court ruled that the United States was in violation of international law. At this point, the U.S. withdrew from the court’s compulsory jurisdiction and now accepts their rulings case-by-case.
The International Court of Justice is comprised of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms. These judges are elected by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. Five judges are elected every three years.
The Peace Palace is owned and administered by the Carnegie Foundation. The palace itself was built between 1907 and 1913 thanks to a generous donation made by Andrew Carnegie. Situated in the heart of The Hague, the Peace Palace sits on 7 hectares of land. The building itself was designed by architect Louis Cordonnier. The wall overlooking the lawns features several figures that represent peace and justice. A large clock tower stands 80 metres high and is a magnificent site on its own. Inside of the building are several artworks that depict various cultures around the world.
The Peace Palace is also home to a museum that educates visitors on the history of the institutions found in the palace. The museum was established in 1999 and can be found in the southern wing of the palace.
The Peace Palace is not open to the public. Those that wish to tour the building must join a guided tour, which is offered by the Carnegie Foundation. Tours are available for groups of up to 20 people. The cost of each ticket is € 8,50, but children under the age of 10 are free. Tours take approximately 30 to 45 minutes. For more information on guided tours, please visit the Peace Palace website.