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With growing caseload, World Court optimizes efficiency, its chief says

With growing caseload, World Court optimizes efficiency, its chief says

Facing an increased caseload, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is working to optimize scarce resources, its President said today in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

With States using the court more and more to settle their disagreements, ICJ President Shi Jiuyong said he was dedicated to improving the Court's efficiency so that the caseload could be handled with a budget representing less than 1 per cent of the UN's total budget.

Judge Jiuyong described innovative changes to the Court's operations, including shortening the period between the closure of written procedures and the opening of oral arguments, technological initiatives and streamlining work methods.

Currently the ICJ has 21 cases on its docket, including a border dispute between Benin and Niger, and two cases in which Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia respectively have sought condemnation of Serbia and Montenegro for violations of UN conventions on genocide, Judge Jiuyong said.

Also addressing the Assembly, its President, Jan Eliasson, recalled that last month's World Summit reaffirmed the ICJ's importance and asked all States to support its work by contributing to the Trust Fund to Assist States in the Settlement of Disputes, which currently has a balance of $2 million.