International Courts and Tribunals


International Courts are judicial bodies set up by treaties between nations or by the United Nations or other such bodies. They include ad hoc tribunals. The concept of International Courts is not new as their existence can be traced back to early years of the 20th Century.

The jurisdiction of these courts is usually restricted to a particular issue or a nation. These courts are judged by international laws and treaties. Some of the most important International Courts are:

  • International Criminal Court,

  • African Court of Justice,

  • European Court of Human Rights, etc.

International Tribunals

In 1990s the first international tribunal was set up with the purpose to investigate crimes committed by civilians, politicians and military personnel during armed conflicts. These tribunals are bound to report to the UN Security Council. They operate in accordance with law of the nation in question or a combination of international and domestic law. The judges who decide on such matters are appointed from the related nations or international community.

At present there are five such tribunals which are International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The International Court of Justice is one of the main judicial bodies of the United Nations. ICJ was established under the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and started its work from April 1946 as the successor to Permanent Court of International Justice. The composition of ICJ includes 15 judges for a term of 9 years elected by UN general Assembly and UN Security Council. The Judges are elected regardless of their nationality. Selection is based on character of high moral who are qualified highest judicial officers in their nation or lawyers with competence in International law. Judges can be dismissed through unanimous vote of the court's members. The jurisdiction of the court depends on two issues based on advisory options and contentious issues. The administrative body which assists the court is the Registry and the official language is English and French. The court is situated in the Peace Palace in the Hague, Netherlands.

Directory of International Courts and Tribunals

veiw-more

Name Subject Matter
International Court of Justice Legal Disputes
International Criminal Court Criminal Prosecutions
Permanent Court of International Justice General Disputes
Appellate Body Trade Disputes within the WTO
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Maritime Disputes
African Court of Justice Interpretation of AU Treaties
East African Court of Justice Human Rights
COMESA Court of Justice Trade Disputes within COMESA
ECOWAS community court of Justice Interpretation of ECOWAS Treaties
SADC Tribunal Interpretation of SADC Traeties
Caribbean Court of Justice General Disputes
Court of Justice of the Andean Community Trade Disputes with CAN
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court General Disputes
Inter-American Court of Human Rights Human Rights
Benelux Court of Justice Trade Disputes within Benelux
Economic court of the Commonwealth of Independent States Economic Disputes and Interpretation of Treaties within the CIS
European Court of Human Rights Human Rights
Court of Justice of the European Union Interpretation of EU Law
European Court of Auditors Audits EU Institutions
European Free Trade Association Court Interpretation of EFTA Law
European Nuclear Energy Tribunal Nuclear Energy Disputes
European Union Civil Service Tribunal Civil Disputes
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg Criminal Prosecutions
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Criminal Prosecutions
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Criminal Prosecutions
Mechanisms for International Criminal Tribunals Criminal Prosecutions
Special Court for Sierra Leone Criminal Prosecutions
Special Tribunal for Lebanon Criminal Prosecutions
CEMAC Court of Justice Issues related to CEMAC Treaty
Permanent Court of Arbitration International Disputes
Central American Court of Justice Any Legal Disputes
Court of Arbitration for Sport Sport's Disputes
International Court of Conciliation and Arbitration International Commercial Disputes
European Court of Human Rights Human Rights
International centre for settlement of Investment disputes Disputes between International Investors
International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation Environmental Disputes
NAFTA Dispute Settlement Panels Trade Disputes

List of Hybrid Tribunals

Name Subject Matter
Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal Criminal Prosecutions
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia/Khmer Rouge Tribunal Criminal Prosecutions
Special Court for Sierra Leone Criminal Prosecutions
Special Panel for Serious Crimes (East Timor) Criminal Prosecutions