Institution: International Court of Justice

Event: CACMUN 2000

Students: Besma al Mutawa and Maryam Al Hamad


The Case of India Versus Pakistan

Links to other sites on the Web:

Back to the 2000-2001 Team page
Back to the Briefing Book Library
Back to Teams
Back to Fruit Home


An Appropriate Theme
(Actually from "Perry Mason")

1- ICJ (Introduction)

The ICJ, the chief judicial body of the United Nations, empowered to resolve international disputes between member nations who submit a case to the court.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is located in The Hague, Netherlands. Founded in 1946 to replace the Permanent Court of International Justice, it is the principal judicial body of the United Nations. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has followed the progress made to establish an International Criminal Court for many years. It closely followed the work of the International Law Commission and in 1993, it placed the Court on the agenda of the World Conference on Human Rights. The ICJ actively participated in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee and the Preparatory Committee in New York. The ICJ has been serving on the Steering Committee of an active and highly organized NGO Coalition for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.

2- ICJ (History)

The creation of the Court represented the culmination of a long development of methods for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the origins of which can be said to go back to classical times. Article 33 of the United Nations Charter lists the following methods for the pacific settlement of disputes between States: negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, and resort to regional agencies or arrangements, to which good offices should also be added. Among these methods, certain involve appealing to third parties. For example, mediation places the parties to a dispute in a position in which they can themselves resolve their dispute thanks to the influence of a third party. Arbitration goes further, in the sense that the dispute is in fact submitted to the decision or award of an impartial third party, so that a binding settlement can be achieved. The same is true of judicial settlement, except that a court is subject to stricter rules than an arbitral tribunal in procedural matters, for example.

Historically speaking, mediation and arbitration preceded judicial settlement. The former was known in ancient India and in the Islamic world, whilst numerous examples of the latter are to be found in ancient Greece, in China, among the Arabian tribes, in the early Islamic world, in maritime customary law in medieval Europe and in Papal practice.

The modern history of international arbitration is, however, generally recognized as dating from the so-called Jay Treaty of 1794 between the United States of America and Great Britain. This Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation provided for the creation of three mixed commissions, composed of American and British nationals in equal numbers, whose task it would be to settle a number of outstanding questions between the two countries which it had not been possible to resolve by negotiation. Whilst it is true that these mixed commissions were not strictly speaking organs of third-party adjudication, they were intended to function to some extent as tribunals. They re-awakened interest in the process of arbitration. Throughout the 19th century, the United States and the United Kingdom had recourse to them, as did other States in Europe and the Americas.

The Hague Peace Conference of 1899 marked the beginning of a third phase in the modern history of international arbitration. The chief object of the Conference, in which a remarkable innovation the smaller States of Europe, some Asian States and Mexico also participated, was to discuss peace and disarmament. It ended by adopting a Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which dealt not only with arbitration but also with other methods of pacific settlement, such as good offices and mediation.

3- ICJ (Famous Cases)

Between 1946 and 1 July 1996, the Court was called upon to deal with 74 contentious cases in which it delivered 61 Judgments and made 295 Orders. During the same period, it dealt with 22 advisory cases, in which it delivered 23 Advisory Opinions and made 32 Orders. These are some famous cases of the ICJ:

- Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay v. United States of America) (1998)

Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia) (1993)


4- ICJ Procedures

The procedure followed by the Court in contentious cases is defined in its Statute, and in the Rules of Court adopted by it under the Statute. The Rules now in force were adopted on 14 April 1978. The proceedings include a written phase, in which the parties file and exchange pleadings, and an oral phase consisting of public hearings at which agents and counsel address the Court. As the Court has two official languages (English and French) everything written or said in one is translated into the other.

After the oral proceedings the Court deliberates in camera and then delivers its judgment at a public sitting. The judgment is final and without appeal. Should one of the States involved fail to comply with it, the other party may have recourse to the Security Council of the United Nations.

Since 1946 the Court has delivered 70 Judgments on disputes concerning inter alia land frontiers and maritime boundaries, territorial sovereignty, the non-use of force, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, diplomatic relations, hostage-taking, the right of asylum, nationality, guardianship, rights of passage and economic rights.




International Court of Justice


Student Present: Maryem al Hamad



The International Court of Justice, which sits at The Hague, in the Netherlands, acts as a world court. It decides in accordance with international law disputes of a legal nature submitted to it by States, while in addition certain international organs and agencies are entitled to call upon it for advisory opinions. It was set up in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations to be the principal judicial organ of the Organization, and its basic instrument, the Statute of the Court, forms an integral part of the Charter. The International Court of Justice is to be distinguished from its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice (1922-1946). The creation of the Court represented the climax of a long development of methods for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the origins of which can be said to go back to classical times.

Famous Cases:

Between 1946 and 1 July 1996, the Court was called upon to deal with 74 contentious cases in which it delivered 61 Judgments and made 295 Orders. During the same period, it dealt with 22 advisory cases, in which it delivered 23 Advisory Opinions and made 32 Orders. These are some famous cases of the ICJ:

- Protection of French nationals and Protected Persons in Egypt.

- (France v. Egypt)

- Curfu channel (United Kingdom v. Albania)

- Request for interpretation of the judgment of 20 November 1950 in the Asylum case. (Columbia v. Peru)


Rules of operation:

There are simple rules for proceeding a trial in the International Court of Justice. Simple definitions explain the court rules. The applicant or moving party is the side that is bringing the case to the court along with the burden of proof. The other side, the responding party or simply the respondents, is the defending part that must show that the proof against them is not strong enough to prove guilt. Advocates are the lawyers hired by each respective side to represent them in front of the court. Also, there are 15 judges in the court who will listen to the advocates present their case, will deliberate on the case, and will decide the verdict of the case. The Chief Justice, another way of saying the president of the ICJ, will be responsible for the smooth running of the court but will have equal say in the case as the other judges. There will be two deputy justices who will assist the chief justice and will be available to consult on decisions of the running of the court.


Steps followed during the trial:

- Step 1: Opening Statements

- Step 2: Presentation of the Case

- Questioning Witnesses

- Step 3: Rebuttal

- Step 4: Closing Statements

- Step 5: Deliberation

- Step 6: Verdict Given



At the event:

What was the case?

The case was about a Pakistani plane shot down by Indian soldiers on the Pakistani-Indian borders. The plane had 16 military soldiers on a practice mission inside the Pakistani borders, however, the plane is licensed to have 12 passengers on it only. Pakistan claims that they were inside their borders and that the Indians gave no warnings at all before the shooting. However, the Indians claim that the pilot on their aircraft signaled a warning and then started shooting. Also, the Pakistani plane was 1.6 Km away from the border, where they should’ve been 5 Km away from the border.


Who won the case?

In this case, both counties were considered guilty, however India was guiltier. Pakistan was guilty because the aircraft went close to the borders without giving any notifications beforehand to India that they were having a practice team on air. India, however, had to pay 450 thousand dollars to each family that had a son on the aircraft that was shot down since they were all killed, but they were excused from paying back the amount of money for the damaged aircraft because Pakistan was found guilty too. Finally, a no-fly zone had to be placed between those two countries at 10 Km from each side.

What I learned?

From this case, I learned how to judge things properly. At the beginning of the case, I quickly thought that Pakistan was innocent and the blame went on India because of the shootings and the dead military men. However, after we proceeded with the case and discussed it more carefully, I realized that Pakistan was guilty also because it didn’t notify India at all of what was going to happen and went on near the Pakistani borders.

Also, this experience helped me improve my speech with others and made me view things in a different way. It also taught me that a person shouldn’t judge things from the first look but should put everything into consideration.


Maryam Al-Hamad