International Court of Justice

General introduction
The ICJ has its seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague.The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The Hague. It began work in 1946, when it replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice which had functioned in the Peace Palace since 1922. It operates under a Statute largely similar to that of its predecessor, which is an integral part of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Court has a dual role: to settle in accordance with international law the legal disputes submitted to it by States, and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorised international organs and agencies.

The Court is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the UN General Assembly and Security Council sitting independently of each other. It may not include more than one judge of any one nationality. The Members of the Court do not represent their governments but rather are independent magistrates. When the Court does not include a judge possessing the nationality of a State party to a case, that State may appoint a person to sit as a judge ad hoc for the purpose of the case.

View the ICJ research files on the Hague Justice Portal

Number of staff
Approximately 100

Employment / Internships

Who's who? 
Hisashi Owada (Japan) - President
Peter Tomka (Slovakia) - Vice-President 
Philippe Couvreur (Belgium)- Registrar

Contact information
International Court of Justice 
Carnegieplein 2, Peace Palace
2517 KJ The Hague

Tel: 0031-(0)70-3022323
Fax: 0031-(0)70-3649928

Contact: email  
Website: International Court of Justice

English and French