ICJ: Marshall Islands v Pakistan

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). As explained in the press release of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), 14 July 2015. The President of the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, by an Order dated 9 July 2015, has extended from 17 July 2015 to 1 December 2015 the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the questions of the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application in the case of Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). The history of the proceedings can be found in the ICJ’s 2013-2014 Annual Report (paragraphs 214-218), which can be found on its website underThe Court/Annual Reports/2013-2014”. The full text of the Order of 9 July 2015 is available on the Court’s website under “Cases/Contentious Cases”. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The ICJ’s seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Extension of the time-limit for the filing of Pakistan’s Counter-Memorial. Latest developments in the case:

  • 14/07/2015 – Press Release 2015/19 – Extension of the time−limit for the filing of Pakistan’s Counter−Memorial  PDF 199.2 Kb
  • 09/07/2015 – Order – Extends the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial   PDF 81 Kb
  • 11/07/2014 – Press Release 2014/23 – Fixing of time-limits for the filing of written pleadings on the questions of the Court’s jurisdiction and the admissibility of the Application  PDF 204.6 Kb
  • 10/07/2014 – Order – Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial   PDF 94.5 Kb

 The ICJ is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States (its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned); and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. Independent of the United Nations Secretariat, it is assisted by a Registry, its own international secretariat, whose activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative. The official languages of the Court are French and English. Also known as the “World Court”, it is the only court of a universal character with general jurisdiction.

The ICJ, a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings, should not be confused with the other mostly criminal judicial institutions based in The Hague and adjacent areas, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, an ad hoc court created by the Security Council), the International Criminal Court (ICC, the first permanent international criminal court, established by treaty, which does not belong to the United Nations system), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL, an international judicial body with an independent legal personality, established by the United Nations Security Council upon the request of the Lebanese Government and composed of Lebanese and international judges), or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, an independent institution which assists in the establishment of arbitral tribunals and facilitates their work, in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1899).

The subsequent procedure has been reserved for further decision.

The decision to extend the time-limit was made taking account of the views of the Parties.

In his Order, the President indicates that, by a Note Verbale dated 2 July 2015, the Government of Pakistan requested a six-month extension of the time-limit for the filing of its Counter-Memorial on the questions of the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application.

The President also indicates that, by a letter dated 8 July 2015, the Government of the Marshall Islands informed the Court that, for the reasons given in that letter, it “would be comfortable with the Court’s expanding the initial six-month time-limit [for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of Pakistan] to nine months in total, counting from the [date of the filing of the Marshall Islands’] Memorial”.

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