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International court

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International courts are formed by treaties between nations or under the authority of an international organization such as the United Nations and include ad hoc tribunals and permanent institutions but exclude any courts arising purely under national authority.


An international court is an international organization, or a body of an international organization, that hears cases in which one party may be a state or international organization (or body thereof), and which is composed on independent judges who follow predetermined rules of procedure to issue binding decisions on the basis of international law.[1]


Early examples of international courts include the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals established in the aftermath of World War II. Two such courts are presently located at The Hague in the Netherlands: the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Further international courts exist elsewhere, usually with their jurisdiction restricted to a particular country or issue, such as the one dealing with the genocide in Rwanda. In addition to international tribunals created to address crimes committed during genocides and civil war, ad hoc courts combining international and domestic strategies have also been established on a situational basis. Examples of these “hybrid tribunals” are found in Sierra Leone, Lebanon, East Timor, and Cambodia.

Privileges and immunities

Judges and high-level staff of such courts may be afforded diplomatic immunity if their governing authority allows.

List of international courts

Defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg
Defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg
Name Scope Years active Subject matter
African Court of Justice Africa 2009–present Interpretation of AU treaties
African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights Africa 2006–present Human rights
Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Global 1995–present Trade disputes within the WTO
Benelux Court of Justice Benelux 1975–present Trade disputes within Benelux
Caribbean Court of Justice Caribbean 2005–present General disputes
COMESA Court of Justice Africa 1998–present Trade disputes within COMESA
Common Court of Justice and Arbitration of the OHADA Africa 1998–present Interpretation of OHADA treaties and uniform laws
Court of Justice of the Andean Community South America 1983–present Trade disputes within CAN
Court of the Eurasian Economic Union Former USSR 2015–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the EAEU
East African Court of Justice Africa 2001–present Interpretation of EAC treaties
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Caribbean 1967–present General disputes
Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States Former USSR 1994–present Economic disputes and interpretation of treaties within the CIS
ECOWAS Community Court of Justice Africa 1996–present Interpretation of ECOWAS treaties
European Court of Human Rights Europe 1959–present Human rights
European Court of Justice Europe 1952–present Interpretation of EU law
European Free Trade Association Court Europe 1994–present Interpretation of EFTA law
European Nuclear Energy Tribunal Europe 1960–present Nuclear energy disputes
Inter-American Court of Human Rights Americas 1979–present Human rights
International Court of Justice Global 1945–present General disputes
International Criminal Court Global 2002–present Criminal prosecutions
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Rwanda 1994−2015 Criminal prosecutions
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Former Yugoslavia 1993−2017 Criminal prosecutions
International Military Tribunal Europe 1945–1946 Criminal prosecutions
International Military Tribunal for the Far East Pacific 1946−1948 Criminal prosecutions
International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Global 2012−present Criminal prosecutions
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Global 1994–present Maritime disputes
Permanent Court of International Justice Global 1922–1946 General disputes
Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 2013−present Criminal prosecutions
SADC Tribunal Africa 2005–2012 Interpretation of SADC treaties
Special Court for Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 2002−2013 Criminal prosecutions
Special Tribunal for Lebanon Lebanon 2009−present Criminal prosecutions

List of hybrid tribunals

Name Scope Years active Subject matter
Extraordinary African Chambers Chad 2013–present Criminal prosecutions
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Cambodia 2006–present Criminal prosecutions
Kosovo Specialist Chambers Kosovo 2017–present Criminal prosecutions
Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 2013−present Criminal prosecutions
Special Court for Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 2002–2013 Criminal prosecutions
Special Panels of the Dili District Court East Timor 2000–2006 Criminal prosecutions
Special Tribunal for Lebanon Lebanon 2009−present Criminal prosecutions



  1. ^ Romano, Cesare P.R.; Alter, Karen J.; Shany, Yuval (2013). The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication. Oxford University Press. p. 4–9. ISBN 9780199660681.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 23:26
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