World Court Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of World Court, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is World Court?

(n) World court is an organization under UNO established to settle the disputes of member nations. Normally cases involving more than one country is referred to this court for amicable solution. Though UN charter has got power to implement the decision, it is basically working on consensus and agreement to accept the verdict.

History and Meaning of World Court

The World Court, officially known as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations. It was established in 1945 in order to settle legal disputes between states and give advisory opinions on legal questions that the UN General Assembly or Security Council may ask. The Court is composed of 15 judges from different countries, each of whom is elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council with a term of nine years.

The decisions of the World Court are legally binding and can be enforced by the UN Security Council, and nearly all countries are parties to its statute. The World Court is often referred to as the "World's Court" or the "Global Court" because it acts as a forum for states across the globe to bring disputes and seek resolutions in a peaceful manner.

Examples of World Court

  1. In 2019, the World Court ordered the United States to lift some of the sanctions it imposed on Iran after former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

  2. In 2018, a dispute between Bolivia and Chile over access to the Pacific Ocean was brought to the World Court for resolution.

  3. In 2004, the World Court gave its advisory opinion on the construction of a concrete wall in the West Bank by Israel, stating that it violated international law.

Legal Terms Similar to World Court

  1. International Criminal Court (ICC): The ICC is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

  2. Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA): The PCA is an intergovernmental organization that provides a variety of dispute resolution services to states, including acting as an arbitrator in interstate disputes.

  3. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS): The ITLOS is an independent judicial body that adjudicates disputes arising out of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.