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Cover International Law

12. International dispute settlement and the ICJ  

This chapter examines the various political or diplomatic methods available for international dispute settlement. These methods include negotiation, mediation or ‘good offices’, inquiry, and conciliation. The array of diplomatic techniques available to parties to resolve a dispute is complemented by various means of settling disputes through the application of binding solutions based on the law. Two in particular, arbitration and adjudication, principally developed from earlier forms of non-binding settlement. Though these are different, they are linked by two principal characteristics. Foremost, they allow for a third party to issue a decision that is binding on the parties. Secondly, resorting to these methods requires the prior consent of the parties. The chapter then considers the International Court of Justice, the ‘principal judicial organ’ of the United Nations. The ICJ’s structure was frequently utilized as a model for later judicial institutions, making an enormous contribution to the development of international law.