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Uses of IHL by the International Court of Justice: A Critical Approach Towards Its Role in the International Legal Arena

  • Brian E. FrenkelEmail author
  • Sebastián A. Green Martínez
  • Nahuel Maisley
Chapter

Abstract

The function of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes or advisory opinions that are submitted to it. Although the ICJ has consistently applied and contributed to the development of general public international law, in certain areas such as international humanitarian law (IHL), the Court has gone back and forth between authentic contributions and judicial constraint. In other words, while on certain occasions the ICJ has grounded its decisions on IHL, in other cases it deliberately refrained from doing so, arguably due to the subject matter under consideration or to justify a departure from its previous case law. Instead of describing the decisions rendered by the ICJ regarding IHL issues, this chapter portrays how the Court has selectively applied (and refrained from applying) this legal framework. In doing so, the chapter considers certain factors that may explain this behavior and analyzes them in light of its dual role: as a crucial actor in the pacific settlement of international disputes; and in applying international law.

Keywords

International Humanitarian Law International Court of Justice International Law Armed Conflicts Law of War International Legal Discourse Nuclear Weapons 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian E. Frenkel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sebastián A. Green Martínez
    • 1
  • Nahuel Maisley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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