At the initiative of several delegations to the 25th Abbiversaly Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations a proposal was made for the establishment of an ad hoc Committee to undertake "an appropriate study with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of the Court". The Assembly decided by a resolution unanimously adopted on the 15th December 1970 to defer the proposal until the next session, but it authorized the Secretary - General to the Statute of the International Court of Justice to submit to the Secretary - General, by 1st July 1971, views and suggestions concerning the role of the Court on the Basis of the questionnaire to be prepared by the Secretary - General.

 The Secretary - General by his letter OR 311/55 of the 5th March 1971, addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus transmitted a questionnaire prepared by him in pursuance of the aforesaid resolution, which was based on the summary of the debates in the Sixth Committee appearing in the Committee's report to the Assembly and invited the Member States and the States parties to the Statute of the Court to submit, by 1st July 1971, their views and suggestions concerning the role of the Court.
I give hereunder my views on each question in the questionnaire in the sequence in which they are put. 


The role of the International Court of Justice
within the framework of the United Nations

 Unlike its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the International Court of Justice was created as an organ of the United Nations and it is its principal Judicial organ.
It is constituted In virtue of its Statute, based in the Statute of the permanent Court of International Justice but forming an integral part of the Charte. The International Court of Justice is in all but name and from the direct continuation of the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute and the Rules of Court are practically identical and the new Court has taken over not only the premises but also the archives of the old Court.

 But though the new Court was expected to play a significant role in the international relations of the future and the judicial process to have a central place in the plans of the United Nations for the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means nevertheless such expectations have not materialized.

 The jurisdiction of the Court remained optional.

 In spite of the resolution of the General Assembly in 1947 the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court under Article 36.2 was accepted by only 46 states out of the 130 parties to the Statute (including apart from the 127 Members of the ratio in 1938 of 38 to 54 in the League. The Court had declared 13 advisory opinions and one request is pending and during the period 1946-1970 the Court was seized in 39 contentious cases and gave 31 judgments of which 14 were on merits, two were designated "Second Phase" and one was interpretative judgment.
As emphasized by the Legal Counselor of the United Nations - 

"the past 25 years have witnessed a disappointing lack of progress and it is difficult to envisage any sudden change in the preference of States for keeping a dispute close, rather that entrusting it to some from of third party settlement which might not come out wholly in their favor".

 Of course the use of that clause and the adoption of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court, as other machinery in the United Nations, and the recourse to the Court in general are subject to political manipulation as instruments of a state's foreign policy. In this way the attitude of the Soviet bloc, of the Afro-Asian States and of the Western States towards the Court may be explained.
But the sooner it is realized that the adjudication by the Court consists in an objective, detached and impartial consideration of an international dispute in accordance with the law and it may be resorted to as a better alternative to other means of solution of international differences the better for the building up of confidence in the Court. It will also contribute to the enhancement of the role of the Court in the international legal order if the recognition of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court under Article 36.2 of the Statute is depoliticized and extended and the reservations for its adoption are restricted not only to the possible minimum but also are subject to certain conditions.
Another reason for mistrust to the Court relates to the law that the Court is likely to apply.
Unted Article 38 of the Statute the Court in deciding disputes submitted it shall apply: - 

(a) international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting state;
(b) international custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
(c) the general principles of law recognized by civilian nations;
(d) subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teaching of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.

 In its paragraph 2 it is provided that this provision "shall not prejudice the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo et bono, if the parties agree thereto".
In the absence of a legislator in a homogeneous society international law is bound to remain vague and uncertain unless its principles are accepted by the states forming the family of nations.
The number of international conventions establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states in spite of recent codification of various branches of the international law such as the codification of the Law of the Sea, the Law of Diplomatic and Consular Relations and the Law of Treaties, constitutes to be very restricted but this matter should receive the most serious consideration. The International Law Commission may hold more frequent and regular sessions so as more rapid progress be achieved.
Regarding sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 1 of Article 36 of the Statute, whereby it is provided that one of the sources of the law is the "international custom as evidence of a general practice accepted by law", its winding as pointed out by Kelsen: is unsatisfactory. It is not possible apply a custom, since "custom" is a habitual or usual course of action which cannot be applied to a case but only the legal norm evidenced by the custom. If on the other hand what is meant was the "customary international law' then, in spite of the various difficulties especially those relating to the proof of its recognition by the various states, the Court may contribute substantially to the development of international law (as it was made in the Corfu Channel and the Fisheries Cace).
Same considerations apply to the interpretation of subparagraph (c) of paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute in connection with "the principles of law recognized by civilized national". This would presuppose a bridging between the various legal systems especially those of the western countries with the legal systems of the non - western countries in an effort to find the general principles underlying such systems so as to establish a common basis for a "world law".
Professor Roling supports as a preliminary for such an effort (a) "to annul" the former law of domination as expressed in the colonial system and the "unequal treaties"; (b) "the expansion of international law by introducing new chapters of "social protective law" and "welfare law" but he emphasizes that this may be "almost a superhuman task".
Finally amongst the sources of the law the Court would administer it may be included the law making resolutions and declarations of the general Assembly and the Security Council. 


The Organization of the Court


 The composition of the Court is of great significance as far the confidence in the Court, its impartiality and objectivity are concerned and especially in the light of the changing international relations.
There has been on the whole satisfaction with its present composition although certain suggestion were made for the increase of its members and the qualifications of the judges. Proposals were also made that they should represent not only "the principal legal systems of the world" but its "social systems" as well, whilst others support the view that it would have been preferable to speak of legal cultures.
Also a proposal was made that in the election of judges the possibility of taking into consideration the acceptance by his country of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court should be examined.
Regarding the process of the nomination of candidates various proposals were made but it seems to me that the proposal of the late Professor Lauterpacht for the creation of "a preparatory and explanatory body" merits consideration.
In this respect it should be emphasized that depoliticizing the elections would tend to strengthen the confidence in the Court.
With regard to the of office of the judges probably a fixed period instead of partial renewal would tend to securing more stability and continuity in the litigation.
The length of the proceedings with the great costs and lea lays involved before the full Court has been the full Court has a matter of concern to the Court itself and to the various governments and has actually barred many recourses to it.
A former Legal Adviser of the British Foreign Office, the late Sir Cecil Hurst, submitted some years ago that international courts of a less formal, cheaper and more expeditious character could be created to deal with international law suits of not great importance. There must be many disputes on such matters which could be dealt with more rapidly and would not be necessary to be tried by a court consisting of fifteen judges. Already the Statute contemplates such an un eventuality. Under its Article 26.1 "the Court may from time to time form one or more chambers composed of there or more judges as the Court may determine for dealing with particular categories of cases ...". Furthermore under its esuing paragraph the Court may at any time, from time to time, form a chamber for dealing with a particular case and at the request of the parties may hear and determine cases in Chambers.
In has also been suggested that the Court may make its services available on a decentralized basis on the pattern of the English system of the judges on circuit.
Regarding Judges ad hoc appointed under Article 31 of the Statute there exists a divergence of views, the ones supporting them as satisfying diplomatic susceptibilities whilst others being against them as contrary to the idea of justice. If they allowed to die a natural death it would be more consistent with the standing and the decorous of a Court administering justice in accordance with the law. 


Jurisdiction of the Court


 (a) Contentious cases:
Paragraph 1 of Article 34 of the Statute follows the classical theory prevailing in the nineteenth century, that only states could initiate and be parties before the Court in the exercise of its contention of the jurisdiction as the only subjects of international law. But with the expansion of the concept of subjects of international law, including now not only the various international organizations but also the individuals, it would be unachronistic to have only the various international organizations but also individuals, it would be unachronistic to have only the states as members of the contentious litigation before the Court.
Article 34.1 may be expanded sa as to include the United Nations, which as decided by the Court in the Reparation Case "is at present the supreme type of international organization but also the other international organizations and eventually the individuals consideration may be given to want Jenks calls "evocation procedure".
With regard to the question of the assumption of regional specialized functions by the International Courts it may assume the king of regional specialized functions assigned to the European Courts and may deal with questions referred to it for its opinion by regional Courts performing specialized functions.
Consideration may also be given to the possibility of assigning to the International Court appellate functions in cases tried by various arbitral tribunals.
Finally the tendency of providing in various international treaties that any disputes thereunder and especially those relating to the interpretation of the treaty may be referred to the International Court for determination should be encouraged.

 (b) Advisory jurisdiction:
The Charter confers authority upon the General Assembly and the Security Council to request advisory opinions on any legal question (Article 96 (1) and to other organs of the United Nations and specialized agencies if so authorized by the General Assembly (Article 96 (2) with regard to legal questions arising within the scope of their activities.
States themselves may not seek advisory opinion but they may request a judgment on an abstract question of law. There would be, however, some advantage if such a procedure is made available to Statute, and this may be achieved without any amendment of the Charter or the Statute if the general Assembly may accept as a channel for the transmission of such request.
Irrespective of the interpretation of Articles 96 of the Charter and 65.1 of the Statute. I am inclined to the view that the circle of persons who may invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the Court may be expanded as to include more inter-governmental organizations including regional organizations especially those established for the settlement of local disputes which may have a legal character.
A question arises whether individuals may invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the Court. It has been pointed out that the power of the Court to receive information for international organizations is an oblique way of gaining access to individuals and in this respect the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO case may be referred to. It seems that for the sake of assuring equality of the parties and a sound administration of justice it would be desirable to open access to the Court to individuals.
Finally it may be considered desirable to have this jurisdiction of the Court open to arbitral tribunals or permanent international tribunals established under treaties. 


Procedures and Methods
of Work of the Court


 Proposal for facilitating the recourse to the Court either to its contentious or its advisory jurisdictions imply procedural amendments so as to avoid the rigidity of certain rules, to relieve the proceedings from being cumbersome and costly and to secure the speedy determination of the matter before the Court.
In this respect it would be useful if the particular categories of cases in which it would be appropriate to resourt to the procedures provided by Articles 26 and 29 of the Statute be expanded and more accurately defined. Also the possibility of making more often use of Articles 28, 29 and 30.2 and 50 may be explored.
The time spent for deciding questions relating to jurisdiction and other preliminary issues and the time taken for issuing a reserved judgment may be curtailed to the minimum possible. 


Future action on
the item by the General Assembly


 The future action on the item of reviewing of the role of the Court fall into two categories: those which involve a change in the Statute and those which do not. Changes in the Statute are equivalent to amendments of the Charter (Article 69 of the Statute) and require "a vote of two-thirds of the Members of the General Assembly "including all the permanent members of the Security Council (Article 108 of the Charter). The initiative may come from Members or from the Court (Article 70 of the Statute).
It may, however, be possible to evolve some changes with respect to the access to the Court or Procedural matters which will not require formal amendments.
Thus viewing the provision of Article 36 (1) of the Statute some innovations in procedure and remedies may be brought about by additional or supplementary instruments giving jurisdiction in respect of matters provided for in treaties.
Also international organizations other than specialized agencies might be authorized to request advisory opinions.
The Court may also deal with requests for advisory opinions under Article 26 (2) of the Statute or for matters for summary proceedings under Article 29 thereof.