As the Corona Virus pandemic continues to spread and affect people globally, the International Court of Justice has now adopted a number of measures to deal with the same. Through a press release, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations has stated that these steps have been taken with the aim to contain the spread of the virus as well as to protect the health and well-being of its judges, staff and their family members.
The protective measures include-
· No hearings or meetings of the Court here on in at least till April 16, 2020.
· All official travels of Members of the Court and the Registry staff are to be suspended, and all visits cancelled.
· Teleworking is to be implemented in order to ensure that physical presence of the staff at the Peace Palace, which is the seat of the ICJ, is reduced to a minimum.
· Members of the Court and Registry staff are requested to avoid private travel out of The Hague as well.
Being situated in The Hague, the measures are in accordance with the recommendations of its host country, the Netherlands, as well as those issued by the United Nations itself. It has further been informed that these measures would be subject to review as the situation develops, so modifications based on evolution of the situation could be expected.
The ICJ constitutes 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations for a period of nine years. Its role can be seen as two-fold:
1. To settle disputes between States in accordance with International law
2. To supply legal advice on questions referred to it by authorized organs of the United Nations.