Virtual Press Briefing by President and Registrar of International Court of Justice

Preview Language:   English
30-Oct-2020 00:29:36
In a virtual press briefing, Judge Abdulqawi A. Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and Mr. Philippe Gautier, Registrar of the ICJ, discuss the court's role and jurisdiction, latest activities and working methods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the United Nations world court said that its judiciary work in The Hague, Netherlands, continued unabated.

Judge Abdulqawi A. Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) told journalists at a virtual press conference that the Court was able to “maintain its judicial output at the same level as in previous years, despite the difficult conditions” imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Coronavirus has disrupted the old tradition of in-person meetings and in-person hearings”, acknowledged Mr. Yusuf, however, he added, the Court was still able to “respond quickly to continue performing its functions under the UN Charter” by applying technologies for remote meetings and hearings.

Moreover, the judge informed that over the last few years, “the Court has been receiving more cases than ever before”.

He said proudly that when comparing the number of cases submitted to the Court over the last 20 years against its first 55 years of existence, “they are almost the same”.

The Court remains a “dynamic institution that is continuously contributing to peace and harmony among nations through its adjudication of the law”, he upheld.

During the month of September, the Court held two hearings by videoconference and 15 cases are currently pending before the court.

Philippe Gautier, ICJ Registrar – head of the secretariat of the Court – was pleased that the registry was able “to react swiftly in order to ensure that the Court could continue its activities”.

He explained that after two weeks, “teleworking was implemented fully” and after one month, deliberations and hearings were underway “using video links”.

“From a judicial point of view, it’s business as usual”, Mr. Gautier said, adding that “the Court is ready to deal with new cases”.

Of the six main UN organs, the ICJ is the only one located outside of New York City in the United States.

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