Difference Between ICJ from International Criminal Court and ad hoc international criminal tribunals?

International Court of Justice(ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, established by the United Nations Charter.

Only sovereign states are eligible to sue before the Court in contentious cases. This Court is not works as a supreme court nor acts as a court of last appeal for individuals. It can, however, rule on the validity of arbitral awards.

ICJ has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes between States submitted to it by them and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal matters referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

ICJ is not a Criminal Court

The International Court of Justice has no jurisdiction to try individuals accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity. As it is not a criminal court, it does not have a prosecutor able to initiate proceedings.

This task is the preserve of national courts, the ad hoc criminal tribunals established by the United Nations (such as the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), mandated to take over residual functions from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)) or in co-operation with it (such as the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), and also of the International Criminal Court, set up under the Rome Statute.


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