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Law at the international level

In accordance with the principle of international sovereignty, each nation can freely decide to join any international organisation it may wish, provide that it meets the conditions set by these institutions. The United Nations is one of the truly universal institutions, with 193 member States spread across all the continents.

The Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations undertakes to ”to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”. The Secretary General of the United Nations is the depository of multilateral treaties.

The protection of human rights and international law is also ensured by courts and tribunals which have various degrees of attachment to the United Nations. 

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, through judgments which have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, legal disputes submitted to it by States; and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system.

The International Criminal Court:

Created by the Statute of Rome of July 2002, the ICC is a permanent international criminal court sitting in the Hague whose purpose is to prosecute alleged perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocides and acts of aggression, provided those crimes were committed after July 1st 2002.

The Court respects the principle of complementarity: it does not replace national courts and prosecute individuals only if the state systems concerned do not initiate proceedings, appeal to the ICC or declare their intention to try individuals without having genuinely willingness or ability to actually carry out a prosecution.

Tensions Resume between Serbia and Kosovo

Tensions Resume between Serbia and Kosovo On the brink of “armed conflict” according to Ana Brnabic, Serbian Prime Minister, the escalation between Serbia and Kosovo could not have happened at the worst time. A few days before the end of a politically and militarily charged year, the brews that were

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