ICJ: Amendments to the Rules of Court

On 25 June 2020 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) amended the Rules of Court, adding a new Article 59(2) and amending Article 94(2):

Article 59

1. The hearing in Court shall be public, unless the Court shall decide otherwise, or unless the parties demand that the public be not admitted. Such a decision or demand may concern either the whole or part of the hearing, and may be made at any time.

2. The Court may decide, for health, security or other compelling reasons, to hold a hearing entirely or in part by video link. The parties shall be consulted on the organization of such a hearing.

Article 94

1. When the Court has completed its deliberations and adopted its judgment, the parties shall be notified of the date on which it will be read.

2. The judgment shall be read at a public sitting of the Court. The Court may decide, for health, security or other compelling reasons, that the judgment shall be read at a sitting of the Court accessible to the parties and the public by video link. The judgment shall become binding on the parties on the day of the reading.

The amendments entered into force 25 June 2020. Thus, the public hearing on the question of the ICJ’s jurisdiction in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela)scheduled for 30 June 2020, will be via videoconference. The representatives of Guyana will address the Court by video link and the public may follow via a live webcast. This dispute extends to a law of the sea dispute, as evident in Guyana’s Application instituting proceedings (paras. 53, 55).

For more information see Press Releases No. 2020/16 and No. 2020/17.

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