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Cover International Law Concentrate

10. Peaceful settlement of disputes  

This chapter examines the means and methods relating to the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The UN Charter obliges States to resolve their disputes peacefully and suggests certain means for such settlement: on the one hand, diplomatic means, like negotiation, mediation, conciliation, or the ‘good offices’ of the UN Secretary General and, on the other, legal methods, such as arbitration and recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which are binding. The ICJ exercises its jurisdiction over contentious cases only upon the consent of the parties to the dispute, which may be expressed through various forms (eg compromis or optional clause declaration). The ICJ may also render advisory opinions to questions of international law posed by the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, or other competent organs and organizations. The chapter also explains dispute settlement in the context of international investor–State arbitration and in the World Trade Organization.