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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 Rights
- 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."
- Central American Court of Justice (Corte Centroamericana de Justicia - In Spanish). Judicial body of the Organization of Central American States, an international organization formed in 1951 to reestablish regional unity in Central America. Member states are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
- Court of Justice of the Andean Community (Tribunal de Justicia de la Comunidad Andina - In Spanish and English). The judicial body of the Andean Community, which is comprised of five judges, each representing one of the member countries (Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela), having jurisdiction in the the five countries. The court ensures the legality of Community provisions through nullity actions, interprets Andean Community laws to ensure that they are applied uniformly in the member countries, and settles disputes.
- Court of Justice of the European Union (In Eleven 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 States."
- 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 Human Rights
"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."
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