International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The Court's role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. The Court is composed of 15 judges and it is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. The court may judge disputes concerning international peace and security, even though these disputes may be the same as those heard in the Security Council and the General Assembly.

NOTE: The ICJ is a civil, not a criminal court, and it concentrates on arguments between governments. It has no authority over individual criminals. Therefore, it cannot try people such as war criminals. This is the task of special criminal tribunals established by the UN.

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