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World Court Digest

III. The International Court of Justice
1.1. General Questions

¤ Military and Paramilitary Activities
(Nicaragua/United States of America)
Merits. J. 27.6.1986
I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 14

[pp. 158-159 S.O. Lachs] ... even apart from the stipulations of Article 2 of the Court's Statute, two requirements are overriding: integrity and independence.
A judge - as needs no emphasis - is bound to be impartial, objective, detached, disinterested and unbiased. In invoking the assistance of this Court or accepting its jurisdiction, States must feel assured that the facts of the dispute will be properly elicited; they must have the certainty that their jural relationship will be properly defined and that no partiality will result in injustice towards them. Thus those on the bench may represent different schools of law, may have different ideas about law and justice, be inspired by conflicting philosophies or travel on divergent roads - as indeed will often be true of the States parties to a case - and that their characters, outlook and background will widely differ is virtually a corollary of the diversity imposed by the Statute. But whatever philosophy the judges may confess they are bound to "master the facts" and then apply to them the law with utmost honesty.

As human beings, judges have their weaknesses and limitations; however, to be equal to their task they have to try to overcome them. Thus in both their achievements and shortcomings they must be looked upon as individuals: it is their personality that matters.