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An information session for diplomats by the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration

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Information session for diplomatic representatives on the activities of the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration

By Roy Lie Atjam

The Hague, 15 September 2022. International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) organized a bilingual (English and French) information session for Diplomats. During the sessions, the courts provided a synopsis of their activities.

PCA Secretary General H.E. Mr. Marcin Czepelak

The following Ambassadors and diplomats attended the information sessions, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Kosovo, Myanmar, Kuwait and others. Also present are diplomats from Angola, Colombia, Croatia and many more.

Featuring on the program, an overview of the activities of the PCA, followed by a Q&A session in the Administrative Council Chamber, was presented by H.E. Mr. Marcin Czepelak, Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The court handled 115 cases in 2021. When diplomacy fails, arbitration comes into play. Mr. Czepelak, among other subjects, talked about “The Host Country Agreement”.

The Host Country Agreement” allows parties in dispute who are located in or near the host country to take full advantage of the flexibility and efficiency of PCA-administered proceedings in the territory of the host country.

The Host Country Agreements also provide wider benefits to the host country, neighbouring states, and parties in dispute: attracting arbitrations to the host country that would otherwise be conducted elsewhere; raising the international profile of the host country as an arbitral forum, just to mention a few.

The PCA has Host Country Agreements in force with Argentina, Chile, China (in relation to Hong Kong SAR), Costa Rica, Djibouti, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mauritius, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Uruguay and Viet Nam. The PCA has concluded Host Country Agreements with a number of other countries whose entry into force is pending completion of constitutional procedures. The PCA also benefits from certain privileges and immunities in Austria “.

ICJ Registrar H.E. Mr. Philippe Gauthier

Next was an overview of the activities of the International Court of Justice ICJ., followed by a Q&A session in the Great Hall of Justice, presented by H.E. Mr Philippe Gautier, Registrar of the International Court of Justice. He explained the important position ICJ takes in guarding international justice and how the registrar supports the court.

There are 133 cases, 27 are consultative, and 15 cases are pending. Gautier also touched on the relationship between the court and the Carnegie Foundation. There is an agreement between the UN and the Carnegie Foundation as to renting the facility. Talking about relocating the court, yes, there is asbestos but there will be no relocation.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations“. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.

The Registry is the permanent administrative secretariat of the Court. It is accountable to the Court alone. It is headed by a Registrar, assisted by a Deputy-Registrar.

The Registrar is elected by the Court for a term of seven years and may be re-elected  The Registrar is responsible for all departments and divisions of the Registry “.

The successful information session concluded with a group photo and a reception in the entrance hall of the Peace Palace.


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