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International Courts | Regional Courts
International Courts and Tribunals
Universal Jurisdictions | Ad
Hoc Criminal Tribunals and Special Courts
- International Court of Justice
"The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United
Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The
Hague (Netherlands). 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."
- International Criminal Court
"On 17 July 1998 in Rome, 160 nations decided to establish a permanent International
Criminal Court to try individuals for the most serious offenses of global concern,
such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity."
Access to court-related materials as well as the
- ICC Legal Tools Project, an electronic library on international criminal law and justice. The library includes material on the Nuremberg trials.
- International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal
"The Administrative Tribunal of the ILO hears complaints from serving and former
officials of the International Labour Office or one of the other international organizations that recognize its jurisdiction."
- International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
"The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial
body established by the Convention to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention. The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea."
- Permanent Court of Arbitration
"The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an international organization offering
a broad range of services for resolving disputes between States, as well as
disputes between States and private parties and those involving intergovernmental
organizations.... The Permanent Court of Arbitration is not a court in the strict
sense of the word, but consists of: the International Bureau, secretariat of
the PCA, headed by its Secretary-general, which assists the parties by undertaking
the administrative functions associated with dispute resolution;... the Administrative
Council, which supervises the International Bureau;... the Members of the Court,
some 265 distinguished jurists nominated by the 86 States Parties, from among
whom the parties to a dispute may choose, if they so desire, the person or persons
to whom they will entrust the task of settling their dispute."
- World Bank - International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
"ICSID was established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment
Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the Convention) which
came into force on October 14, 1966....Pursuant to the Convention, ICSID provides
facilities for the conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries
and investors who qualify as nationals of other member countries. Recourse to
ICSID conciliation and arbitration is entirely voluntary. However, once the
parties have consented to arbitration under the ICSID Convention, neither can
unilaterally withdraw its consent."
- World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center
"Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center was
established in 1994 to offer arbitration and mediation services for the resolution
of international commercial disputes between private parties. Developed by leading
experts in cross-border dispute settlement, the procedures offered by the Center
are widely recognized as particularly appropriate for technology, entertainment
and other disputes involving intellectual property."
- World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body and Appellate Body
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body is made up of all member governments, usually
represented by ambassadors or equivalent. The permanent seven-member Appellate
Body is set up by the Dispute Settlement Body and broadly represents the range
of WTO membership.
Ad Hoc Criminal Tribunals and Special Courts
General | Economic | Human
- Caribbean Court of Justice
"The Caribbean Court of Justice shall perform to the highest standards as the supreme judicial organ in the Caribbean Community.
In its original jurisdiction it ensures uniform interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, thereby underpinning
and advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. As the final court of appeal for member states of the Caribbean Community it fosters
the development of an indigenous Caribbean jurisprudence."
- The Caribbean Court of Justice: A Research Guide (from LLRX)
- Court of Justice of the European Communities (In 22 Languages)
As the judicial branch of the European Union (EU), the European Court of Justice
reviews the legality of the acts of the Commission and the Council of Ministers
of the EU. The court has the power to invalidate the laws of EU member nations
when those laws conflict with Union law.
- Guide to Researching the Council of Europe From LLRX
- Court on Conciliation and Arbitration - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
"The Court was established by the Convention on Conciliation and Arbitration
within the OSCE (signed December 1992), which entered into force in December
1994 after the deposition of the twelfth instrument of ratification or accession.
It is intended to settle disputes submitted to it by the OSCE States signatories
to the convention through conciliation and, where appropriate, arbitration."
- The Court of Justice of the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA)
"The Court of Justice, as the judicial institution of the Common Market is the
backbone of that system of safeguards. Its Judges shall ensure that the law
is not interpreted and applied differently in each Member State, that as a shared
legal system, it remains a Common Market system and that it is always identical
for all in circumstances. In order to fulfill that role, the Court of Justice
has jurisdiction to hear disputes to which the undertakings and individuals
may be parties."
- European Free Trade Agreement Court
"The EFTA Court has jurisdiction with regard to EFTA States which are parties
to the EEA Agreement (at present Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The Court
is mainly competent to deal with infringement actions brought by the EFTA Surveillance
Authority against an EFTA State with regard to the implementation, application
or interpretation of an EEA rule, for the settlement of disputes between two
or more EFTA States, for appeals concerning decisions taken by the EFTA Surveillance
Authority and for giving advisory opinions to courts in EFTA States on the interpretation
of EEA rules. Thus the jurisdiction of the EFTA Court mainly corresponds to
the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Communities over EC
- North American Free Trade Agreement Secretariat
"The NAFTA Secretariat, comprised of the Canadian, U.S. and Mexican Sections,
is an unique organization, established by the Free Trade Commission, pursuant
to Article 2002, Chapter 20 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
It is responsible for the administration of the dispute settlement provisions
of the Agreement. The mandate of the NAFTA Secretariat also includes the provision
of assistance to the Commission and support for various non-dispute related
committees and working groups."
- European Court of
"The European Convention on Human Rights establishes a single and permanent
system to control and protect human rights: the European Court of Human Rights.
Anyone who believes that his or her rights have been breached under the Convention
may lodge a complaint, provided no further legal remedies are available in the
national courts. The Court decides if the case is admissible, and, if it is,
establishes the facts and tries to bring about a friendly settlement. If that
fails, the Court takes a binding decision."
- Inter-American Court of Human Rights (In Spanish and English)
"[The Court is] an autonomous judicial institution whose purpose is the application
and interpretation of the American Convention on Human Rights."
Return to: International and Foreign Legal Research Center
Updated: December 2013