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International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (also called the World Court) is the United Nations' main legal organ. The Court sits in The Hague in the Netherlands and has 15 judges, who are elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.

In selecting judges, care is taken that the principal legal systems of the world are represented. The Court settles legal disputes between member states and renders advisory opinions for the UN and its agencies.

Only member states may refer issues to the Court. A state can refuse to submit to its jurisdiction (except where otherwise expressly provided by treaty), but if it accepts, it is obliged to comply with the decision rendered.

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Date Modified:
2011-04-05