President of UN court says it has cleared backlog of cases

President of UN court says it has cleared backlog of cases

Judge Rosalyn Higgins
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has essentially cleared its backlog of cases, the Court’s President has told the General Assembly.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has essentially cleared its backlog of cases, the Court’s President has told the General Assembly.

Presenting the ICJ’s annual report to the Assembly yesterday in New York, Judge Rosalyn Higgins said that countries that were considering bringing cases before the Court could be confident that it would respond promptly.

“Some occasional delay in bringing on the oral hearings” would now be the result of “the choice of the States to ask for a further written round and not of any backlog in the Court,” she said.

The ICJ, also known as the World Court, had previously set a goal of clearing its backlog of cases by 2008.

Judge Higgins said the ICJ, which is based in The Hague, had enjoyed a very productive year in the 12 months to 31 July, with three judgments rendered, another being prepared and hearings held on three other cases.

There are 11 cases now pending, including one that had been given to the Court in the year covered by the annual report.

The President also noted that hearings begin next week in the case between Malaysia and Singapore concerning the sovereignty of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.