The system may seem strange compared to national court proceedings, but its purpose is to encourage states to prosecute. For example, if a state knows that it will have a bailiff who can participate in the deliberations and offer other judges local knowledge and understanding of the state`s perspective, it may be more willing to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. Although this system does not fit well with the judicial character of the body, it is generally of little practical importance. Judges ad hoc usually (but not always) vote for the state that appointed them, thereby cancelling each other.  The Court generally sits in plenary session, but for the past fifteen years it has occasionally sat in chambers. Articles 26 to 29 of the Statute allow the Court to form smaller chambers, usually composed of 3 or 5 judges, to hear cases. Article 26 provides for two types of chambers: on the one hand, chambers for special categories of cases and, on the other hand, the creation of ad hoc chambers for certain disputes. In 1993, under Article 26(1) of the ICJ Statute, a Special Chamber was established to deal specifically with environmental issues (although it was never used). Article 94 establishes the duty of all Members of the United Nations to comply with the Court`s decisions concerning them.
If the parties fail to comply, the case may be referred to the Security Council for implementation. There are obvious problems with such a method of application. If the verdict is directed against one of the five permanent members of the Security Council or its allies, any implementing resolution would be vetoed. This occurred, for example, after the Nicaragua case, when Nicaragua raised the issue of United States non-compliance with the Court`s decision before the Security Council.  If the Security Council refuses to enforce a sentence against another state, there is no way to force the state to comply. Moreover, the most effective form of action for the Security Council, namely enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, can be justified only when international peace and security are at stake. The Security Council has never done that before. [ref. In addition to the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice, the Palace houses one of the largest libraries of international law in the world (the Peace Palace Library, which, unlike the Court`s Library, is open to the public) and hosts the summer courses of the Hague Academy of International Law. Guided tours take place on weekdays.
In contentious cases (adversarial procedures for the settlement of a dispute), the ICJ renders a binding judgment between States that agree to submit to the Court`s judgment. Only States may be parties in contentious cases. Individuals, companies, parts of a state, NGOs, United Nations bodies and self-determination groups are excluded from direct participation in cases, although the court may receive information from public international organizations. This does not prevent non-State interests from being the subject of proceedings when one State brings an action against another. For example, in cases of “diplomatic protection”, a State may bring an action on behalf of one of its nationals or corporations.  The relationship between the ICJ and the Security Council and the separation of powers were examined by the Court in 1992 in the Pan Am case. The Court had to consider a request for interim provisional measures submitted by Libya to protect its rights, which had been violated by the threat of economic sanctions by the United Kingdom and the United States. The problem is that these sanctions have been approved by the Security Council, which could lead to a conflict between the functions of the Security Council under Chapter VII and the judicial function of the Court. The Court held, by eleven votes to five, that it could not order the interim measures requested because the rights claimed by Libya, even if legitimate under the Montreal Convention, could not prima facie be considered appropriate, since the measure had been ordered by the Security Council.
In accordance with Article 103 of the Charter of the United Nations, obligations under the Charter take precedence over other contractual obligations. Nevertheless, the Court declared the application admissible in 1998.  No decision on the merits has been made since the parties (United Kingdom, United States and Libya) settled the matter out of court in 2003. [ref. needed] There cannot be two judges who are nationals of the same country. According to article 9, the composition of the Court must represent “the principal forms of civilization and the most important legal systems in the world”. Essentially, this meant common law, civil law, and socialist law (now post-communist law). With the support of the Court, countries that have acceded to the Rome Statute system have stood up to those who in the past would not have been responsible for committing widespread and systematic international crimes.
The ICC calls on all countries to join the fight against impunity so that the perpetrators of these crimes are punished and to help prevent these crimes in the future. Article 6 of the Statute stipulates that all judges shall be elected “irrespective of their nationality from among persons of high moral character” who are either qualified for the highest judicial office in their State of origin or known as lawyers of sufficient competence in international law. The independence of the judiciary is specifically addressed in Articles 16 to 18. ICJ judges are not in a position to hold any other office or act as defence counsel. In practice, tribunal members have their own interpretation of these rules and allow them to be involved in external arbitration proceedings and to hold professional positions as long as there is no conflict of interest. A judge may be removed only unanimously by the other members of the court.  Despite these provisions, the independence of ICJ judges has been called into question. For example, in the Nicaragua case, the United States issued a communiqué emphasizing that it could not present sensitive documents to the Court because of the presence of judges from the Soviet bloc.  A majority of the Court was clearly reluctant to intervene in a dispute so that it could conflict with the Board.