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World Court Digest

III. The International Court of Justice
3.11. Intervention
3.11.1. General Questions (Article 62 and 63 of the Statute)

¤ Case Concerning Sovereignty over
Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan
(Indonesia v. Malaysia)
Application by the Philippines
for Permission to Intervene
Judgment of 23 October 2001

[pp. 623-624 S.O. Koroma] 5. Furthermore, it should be observed that the scope of the Court’s decision is defined by the claims or submissions of the parties before it, and the decision of the Court constitutes an embodiment of its findings in response to the submissions made by parties in a particular case. In the case of an intervention, the would-be intervening State has to define its “interests of a legal nature” and the “object” of that legal nature has to be indicated in order for the Court to be in a position to judge whether the intervention is admissible. It is then for the Court to decide whether or not an application for permission to intervene discloses an interest of a legal nature which might be affected by a decision in the case. It therefore stands to reason that the procedure envisaged under Article 62 is intended to enable a State with a legal interest that may be affected by a decision of the Court to be allowed to intervene in a dispute before the Court, in order to preserve its interest. Here too, whether an application to intervene succeeds or not, the decision in that particular case cannot be considered res judicata for a State which was not a party to the dispute before the Court, and nor should the reasoning underlying the decision.